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Respect the Power

Ever since I went to Germany, I have looked at verses like Psalm 101:2 differently. “I will be careful to lead a blameless life.” I used to think of statements like this as a call to noble self-discipline that would prevent me from being embarrassed when I met Jesus face to face. Then I rode on the Audubon. We were tooling along at a comfortable 120 miles per hour when a Porsche 911 turbo blew by us like we were standing still. What a rush. It stimulated my soul with sights, sounds and emotions. It felt like a predator stalking its prey when I caught a glimpse of the silver vehicle approaching in the mirror. It was like a flash of lightning as it shot past us. There was something primal about the roar of the engine and the whine of the turbocharger as it outmuscled us, outran us, and outdistanced us so quickly we could hardly take in the experience. As it passed us, thoughts raced through my mind. “Whoa, that is one powerful machine. That was awesome. I wish I could be in that driver’s seat. It must be a rush to go that fast with that much horsepower at your fingertips.”
When we later passed the same vehicle, my thoughts were quite different. Somehow that same car had gotten out of control causing a violent accident. I could still see pieces of silver sheet metal but the car was barely recognizable. There were parts strewn across the road and into the surrounding fields. Fire and smoke were billowing from the once impressive sports car. Rescue personnel were on the scene but you could tell from their demeanor that this driver had experienced his last great run. Everyone else on the road was reduced to slow speeds as officials took control of the scene. The power that was so impressive less than an hour before had now created dramatic damage. My thoughts were different this time, “Whoa, that was one powerful machine. I guess the driver should have paid closer attention. When you are running fast it doesn’t take much to turn a thrill ride into a disaster. My car could never have created an accident like that because it just isn’t powerful enough.”
That day gave me the real reason why we must all be careful in how we live. Our lives are powerful. They are much more like that Porsche than any of us realize. We have more influence on more people than we will ever be aware. If we ever accept the fact that our lives are impressively equipped and remarkably capable, we will pay close attention to how we live. We will view David’s thoughts in Psalm 101 as a driver’s manual for life:
• I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. (v. 2)
• I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. (v. 3)
• I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it. (v. 3)
• I will have nothing to do with what is evil. (v. 4)
• Whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate. (v. 5)
• My eyes will be on the faithful in the land (v. 6)
• The one whose walk is blameless will minister to me. (v. 6)
• No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house (v. 7)
If, however, we assume our lives are small and our actions don’t really affect anyone else, we will live carelessly. .Just about every week of my life I hear a story of someone who miscalculated the power of their lives. They thought their actions didn’t matter. They assumed no one would get hurt. They refused to believe their lives were highly influential. Then that moment happened when they got out of control and the crash was awful.
As you read this, I hope you gain a new respect for the power you have on the lives of those around you.

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