My outside thermometer says 97. Not unusual for this summer. It's been hot. Or maybe there are better words to describe what it's been. Like scorching. Blistering. Searing. Parching. You get the picture. And it's not just here in Mississippi. It's been very widespread all over the country. Because of the excessive heat, I've gotten into the habit of always looking for a shade..of any size...when I'm out shopping and need a parking space. Our McDonald's has two or three nice shade trees on the south side of the parking lot and I have lately counted myself blessed to have been able to park in their shade. It's usually while going in to get one of the ice-cream cones that I seem to have become addicted to. Wal-Mart even has a few trees on the south side of their parking lot but it's extremely hard to find one of those shaded spots available!
One day last week I needed stamps so while in town headed for the post office. When I pulled into the parking lot I guess my mind just went into it's "looking for a shade" auto mode. The first thought that came into my head was "There's a tiny shade in every one of those parking spots!" I thought that was really odd and then began to look for the trees. A few shrubs here and there. No trees. What I was really looking at was OIL SPOTS! Yep, those messy oil spots from leaky cars and trucks parking there day in and day out. They were gray. Shadows from trees (shades) are gray. Hmmmm. I had jumped to a conclusion before I had all the facts. I was so wanting to find a shade so badly that my mind told my eyes they were looking at something other than what they were really looking at. Did you get that? ha I wanted to find a shady spot so...for a fleeting moment...my brain interpreted the gray oil spot as a shade just because that's what I wanted to see. Reality was that there were no shades there at all. I felt pretty foolish when I realized what had happened inside my little head.
I think it happens to people all the time though. We are so intent on getting something we badly want that we don't sometimes pay enough attention. In those situations I'm afraid we can be fooled fairly easily. For instance: a young woman may want "true love" so badly that she mistakenly gives herself to the first man who comes along giving her some attention. She may end up being used and abused or abandoned. If she had been given instructions from a wise mother or teacher she might have recognized the difference in true love and a one-night-stand. Or a young man might want a car of his own so badly that he goes out and buys what, to him, looks like a great car. Then in reality this car tears up the first day he drives it and he's left with a broken down car and a lot of car payments. He wanted something so much that it distorted his vision and what many would have called a scrap heap looked to him like a dream car!
It's important that we keep our vision clear so we can make good decisions. Here in Mississippi we will be voting this fall for a lot of political offices from the governor on down to local Sheriff. I hope that people will vote based on truth. It's easy to get so tired of the way things are and the crooked politics that go on that we just "look for a shade"....a comfortable place. That's dangerous because then we will be more likely to vote for someone because they promise to do this or do that to make our life more comfortable. Will they? Are they trustworthy? What does the political party that they represent stand for? Have you ever read their views for yourself? Does it line up with what God would want? Don't just jump on the bandwagon for a candidate unless you've done your homework and really know what he's for or against. Do his beliefs match what God says in the Word? How does he feel about the sanctity of life? Don't let the heat of the moment make you see things differently than they really are just because you're burning up and "looking for a shade"! It could just be an oil spot !!
"He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour." Proverbs 21:21
May God bless you my friends!