Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Stop the Chariot!

 Last Friday Delores and I were privileged to complete a journey that began a year ago but was prematurely interrupted by sickness (no, not Covid related). In October of 2019, we were concluding a long road trip which included Washington, D.C., Cooperstown, NY, and Niagara Falls. Our final stop was the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter in northern Kentucky. We purchased the combo ticket. After that day at the museum, I was sick. Delores drove us home the next day. Fortunately the ticket would be honored for the next year. After enjoying the Ark Encounter this past week, we didn't head straight home.

Our detour took us to Mitchell, IN, to visit our son Daniel and his family. While there we got to celebrate a birthday and the baptism of a grandson. That Sunday we got to hear an excellent preacher present a dramatic lesson that included the story of the Ethiopian eunuch from Acts 8. It tells of Phillip's conversation with and conversion of this high official as he was returning home from worshiping in Jerusalem. As his chariot was driven leisurely south, the eunuch was reading from Isaiah. Phillip was explaining a passage about Jesus.

The travelers happened upon some water, and the eunuch asked, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” Phillip immediately exclaimed, "Stop the chariot!" [While the sermon was about baptism, this blog is not...so let's move on.) Two thoughts came to my mind as the minister continued his sermon.

The first was how busy we all are especially in a year as crazy as 2020 has been. Even though our lives sometimes move along at a calm pace as with the eunoch reading on his long journey home, there are other days when the tempo approaches frantic. We just need someone to call a timeout and holler "Stop the chariot!"

The second related thought was concerning the most famous chariot driver in the Bible. Jehu was aboard his turbo-charged chariot kicking up a dust cloud in the desert. The evil queen Jezebel's son Joram was king. He spied the speeding chariot and asked his lookout who it was. The man stated, "The driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi—he drives like a maniac.” (2 Kings 9:20, NIV)  The KJV states that Jehu driveth furiously. Although Jehu needed to stop, let the dust settle, and smell the roses...there really weren't any flowers blooming in proximity. Jehu was in a hurry to squelch the evil of the queen and her son.

photo from padfield.com

The point of this rambling blog is that there are occasions to put the peddle to the metal and rev up your chariot to do God's work. Other times you just need to rest and refresh with the Word. When these latter daze are not so apparent, we can all use a friend or mentor who can step up beside us in our chariots and command, "STOP THE CHARIOT!"