A couple of weeks ago I saw a car’s tyre disintegrate before my very eyes. Thankfully the car was being towed by a tow truck and thankfully the tyre debris didn’t cause any damage to anyone or anything else on the busy Auckland motorway that I was on. But it isn’t every day you see a tyre just blow itself to smithereens. Nope. Not in NZ anyway.
Now flashback to living in America and you couldn’t drive anywhere, on any road – be it small country road or giant interstate that would go on for miles and miles, without seeing tire graveyards here and there. Here and there and everywhere.
In New Zealand we have this thing called a ‘Warrant of Fitness’ for all our vehicles. This is like a check up for a car’s general health. All sorts of things are checked and ticked off a big list, and it is an ongoing, regular thing. If the vehicle doesn’t pass, then it isn’t considered ‘roadworthy’ – safe to be on the roads, and if you’re caught driving a car or motorbike or whatever, that doesn’t have a current Warrant of Fitness, then the police will fine you. One of the many things checked…….tyres…..and if yours aren’t up to par….then you have to replace them with ones that are roadworthy. So you don’t see a lot of blown tyre bits littering our motorways and roads, because usually the tyres are caught before they get that close to blowing.
This whole tyre/tire and warrant of fitness thing got me thinking about how sometimes we need to do a wee tune up, a wee ‘warrant of fitness’ on ourselves before things blow themselves up. Sometimes we choose to do this……and at other times because of ‘life’ and all that ‘life’ chucks at us, we sometimes are forced to look at all of the areas in our life and look at how healthy they are and what could be better/improved/ different.
For me – one of the things on my checklist just lately has been looking at what my core truths are – what are my very foundational beliefs and how do I walk those out in my real, everyday life? You see one of the things at my core, is the thinking that You Can’t Buy Half a Happy Meal When you sign up to be ‘all in’ with something, you can’t always pick and choose what parts you’d like to participate in, what only feels good to put your ‘yes’ to. As a follower of Christ, then I am essentially choosing to believe that God says he is who he says he is, and also, that I am who he says I am. All of it. The whole package deal.
Sometimes that’s a tough concept to get your head around.
You see if you dig around in the bible for any length of time, you read that God thinks about us a whole bunch.
A whole bunch.
God says we are his children.
We are chosen, holy and blameless.
We are His workmanship.
We have been made complete in Him.
And these are just a tiny snippet of the things that God says we are.
After having a conversation with a friend about a few of these ‘what God thinks of us, of me’ things and realizing that I don’t always fully embrace all of these things, I was driving (again – this time no flying tyre bits) and the verse Zephaniah 3:17 came into my mind.
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.
I kinda like the idea of someone rejoicing over me with singing. Singing equates with happy. Happy is good. ‘That’s cool’ I thought. Then I got the nudging to pull over, stop my car and look a bit closer at the words ‘He will take great delight in you’.
And I kinda like the idea of someone taking great delight in me even more.
You see I looked at what the original idea of delight means in the bible. Word geek, I know. And I discovered that one of the two most common Hebrew terms for ‘delight’ is ‘hepes’, and ‘hepes’ means ‘to bend towards, to be inclined towards’.
The God of the Universe, the Creator of the universe, the one who set the stars in place and created man and woman and who knows the very number of hairs on your head, He also cares enough about you to bend towards you, to incline himself towards you.
And He does this to me too.
And why is this such a BOOM thing for me? And maybe for you?
It’s as simple as this: who do we bend towards in our everyday lives?
We bend towards those we want to communicate with. We bend towards those we want to be physically closer to. Working with children 101 states that to chat to children you need to get down on their level, you need to physically lower yourself, to incline yourself towards them. We bend towards those who are the more seasoned citizens among us – this helps them to hear us, to be close to us, and sometimes this physical proximity makes it easier, when its appropriate, to hold their hands, to let them know they are not alone. We bend towards our significant others – there’s nothing like knowing you can just melt into someones arms. We physically change our posture and move our bodies towards those who we want to be closer to; those we love. It is a natural instinct. And, our Father in heaven, He does that for us.
HE DOES THAT FOR US!!!
He delights in us , truly delights in us, by being close to us, by moving towards us. Let that sink into your heads and your hearts my friends. That’s pretty comforting. That’s a beautiful picture of the intensely personal God that I serve.
That’s a great byproduct of an ongoing Warrant of Fitness for sure.