2015-04-29 - The Hidden Lines
There have been a few stretches of continuously rainy days here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. I probably shouldn’t admit that while driving on a four-lane state road, in some of that rain, one particular day, my mind drifted. I was watching around me in a location that people often change lanes without making sure it’s clear, and noticed the temporary lines of tire water paths created on the road surface. Those paths were showing where each car had been, and where it was going, and quite soon those lines were again hidden by more rain still falling. On my drive, as I watched those paths forming or ending, I wondered what the rest of those people’s days might have been or be like, since I only saw a snippet.
Do you ever feel like someone tries to have you figured out by a momentary encounter? I realize first impressions can be critical and are lasting, yet being in human form, makes it quite a challenge to have a short period of time give the best indicator of what a person is like, so maybe we should be careful when forming those opinions. Think about it this way. Many of us have gone to a wedding, graduation, or even a birthday party. When we arrive, we see how things are set up, we enjoy some sort of predetermined activities, and then we leave. For us, the entire event was the arrival to the exit. But I think we all have found out, over the course of our lives, that there is quite a bit going on, before we arrive, as well as when we leave. It’s called “behind the scenes,” and there are a lot of details that get worked out to make the time we spend enjoying ourselves possible, with fewer distractions.
So with that in mind, think about the hidden paths of the cars on the road again. Some of the cars are just on a general ebb and flow pattern, to keep an even speed. Other cars may have to slam on the brakes when someone pulls out in front of them. Still others may swerve to avoid an accident, which in turns causes another vehicle to need to do the same thing. Whether you’re on the path seen or the one unseen, they all tell a story, and each one matters. And we shouldn’t decide we have anyone figured out, based solely on what has been right in front of us in a few moments of time. Take many moments of time, pieced together, and it begins to tell a story. Become part of a story, and it can at some point form a relationship, and we were made to be relational. Be curious about the hidden lines, but only as a starting point, and not as a manner of passing incorrect judgments. Do it to find truth, and in love.
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Matthew 7:1-2)
All scripture references are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.