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Checking in the Mirror

Last night we had a horrible storm. The power was off at our house from early evening until sometime way into the night. I decided to use the qualified darkness to get some extra sleep. I was supposed to paint the dining room, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that in the dark. On top of all of that, Nita had to work a double shift at the hospital and did not get off until about 7:30 this morning. Since she was coming from South of town and I was coming from the North, we decided to meet and eat breakfast around 8:00 o’clock. I’m usually at work before all the morning traffic hits, but this morning I was in the middle of it. That’s where this story begins.

As I made my way into the city traffic, I began to notice different ones ahead of me and directly behind me looking into their rear view mirrors. Of course a good driver always knows what’s around them, but somehow, this seemed different. You know me. I began to watch more closely. I watched the lady directly behind me as we stopped for a traffic light. If she looked in the mirror once, she did it twenty times. It seemed as if each individual glance targeted another area of her upper body. She looked at her eyes, her hair, her lips, who knows, she may have even been looking at her ears. She went over every inch of her face as if it were with a fine tooth comb. She would press and dobb until she got it right. That fascinated me. The light turned green and off we went. When she turned off on the loop she was still checking and fixing.

Instantly my eyes scanned other cars. One lady was driving in the traffic with her elbows and applying makeup as she went. Now folks, you have to want makeup on really bad to drive in city traffic with your elbows. She seemed successful enough at getting the job done. I just hope she doesn’t get to work one morning with the imprint of someone’s taillight on her cheeks.

Women were everywhere checking themselves over in their mirrors. The guys, on the other hand, could care less. All they did was honk at the women in a fatal attempt to hurry them down the road.

Every woman that I saw look in their mirrors did something to “improve” themselves. They touched, they rubbed, they scrunched their hair, they put on lipstick, blotted lipstick, blended eye shadow and all the other stuff that women do. I was having so much fun watching this that I began to think of how much fun it would be to park on the side of the highway one morning about eight o’clock, point myself into the traffic and just watch.

As all of this happened, I thought of the book of James. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what is says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25)

I wonder how often we open the Bible in church or at home, read something from it and go away as if it never applies directly to our lives? You see, God’s word is our mirror. It’s not limited to church or at home. It can go with us wherever we go. It’s not always convenient to read, especially when you are driving, but it can be there with you. David said, “Thy word have I laid up in my heart that I may not sin against thee.” Wow! That’s a powerful thought. Just think, if we prepare, we can look in the mirror out in the middle of nowhere and it can help us.

James dealt with a group of Christians who were having a great deal of difficulty in their walk. The persecutions they were facing were horrible, yet they were able to endure. James encouraged them to take the mirror of the word and comply with what the reflection demanded. The last thing on earth those brothers needed was more troubles on top of the persecution they were enduring.

I wonder how many of our troubles are self inflicted? Have you ever considered how many we could avoid if we were more in tune with God? Perhaps if we were as interested in our appearance before God as we are before men, we would let the mirror direct us.

The next time you look in the rearview mirror, think about it!