July 8, 2018
Life in a Goldfish Bowl
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men. – 2 Corinthians 3:2
At our school bus company, several of the senior drivers are authorized to train new applicants. This is a part-time role, which they carry out between runs of their regular student routes. One of these drivers, Ed by name, has gone beyond and qualified as a third-party tester. This means that he can test a driver who has completed his training, and those test results are recognized by the Oregon State Department of Motor Vehicles. This is a position of great trust! If Ed were to pass a candidate who was not really ready, he would be endangering the lives of the students. On the other hand, it would not be fair to worthy applicants to refuse them a passing score. Fortunately Ed takes this position very seriously and does an excellent job at it.
He told me once that as he drives his regular route, he feels like he is constantly under a microscope. It’s almost as if he were living in a goldfish bowl! If he were to make one error in driving, he would come in for a lot of criticism from the other drivers. Of course, Ed is only human, and he has been known on rare occasions to whiz past a stop when his mind was distracted (just like all of us drivers have done at one time or another). Nevertheless, Ed is a very careful driver and he is always trying to do his best. As a result he has compiled an excellent driving record throughout the years.
As Christians, we too are under constant examination by the world. It’s possible some of the onlookers would use a mistake of ours to justify themselves in doing the wrong thing. “See, he calls himself a Christian, and he’s no better than me!” More serious, however, are those who are looking to us in hope. Think of the spiritual harm we could do to one who is tentatively reaching out to the Lord if we, as Christian examples, fail in some way or other! On the other hand, consider the positive influence our faithful and enthusiastic service to God could have on an observer.
Our key verse likens our lives to the Bible. And after all, we are the only Bible that some people will ever read! May we ever be true to our Lord, and show the on-looking world that it is truly good to serve Him.