So I was driving today somewhere in Iowa, on my way home after hanging out with my extended family. The speed limit was about 70. I know for many of you that last sentence would simply read, “The speed limit was 70.” But in some areas I tend to be an “about” kind of guy. So I was going about 76 until I came upon a semi and a little blue car filling both lanes and going a bit under 60! I’m serious, they drove side by side for at least 10 minutes. Now driving is not a competitive sport for me. But I am an achiever. I set goals and I want to achieve the goals I set. My goal was to average 65 on the way home — counting stops. So needless to say two vehicles filling both the regular and the passing lane taking a stroll “about” 16 miles under the speed limit was massively annoying.
Now there was a guy in a red car beside me. He was there before I came so he had to endure this frustration for even longer than I did. So during the 10 minute eternity, we exchanged shrugs, bewildered looks, and shaking heads. It was a mini experience of community, a low-impact lifegroup. So anyway — there I am — during this 10 minute eternity I have about 3 short moments of community and many more moments of frustrating annoyance.
Because this semi driver and this little blue car are holding ME up. I have a right to go at least the speed limit. They are messing with my rights, my privileges, my goals. I blinking my lights — only three or four times, I don’t want you to think I’m a monster — and getting louder in my car, hoping that they will hear me.
By this time, a huge traffic jam has formed in both lanes, going at least a half mile back…or maybe 10 miles back. Finally the semi starts inching forward, he’s going about 62 now, slowly gaining on the little blue car. Finally his blinkers go on…yes, he’s going to… paaaaassss. As soon as he passes, I whiz by, ready to regain the ground I’ve lost.
About a 1/2 mile passed the log-jam drivers, I looked back to see if my red-car buddy was behind me. Alas, there were so many cars in the passing lane waiting to get back to 70, that my friend in red car was still stuck behind the slow-as-molassas blue car driver. I thought, “Wow I should’ve let the guy in the red car cut in front of me, so that he could enjoy the open road as well. Yeah I should’ve done that…but I didn’t.”
Then I thought, “I was so focused on my rights that I missed an opportunity to make someone’s day better. I missed an opportunity to serve. I missed an opportunity to do good.” Here is the Calvary Axiom that come to my mind as I drove away,
God always shapes a heart before He releases a dream.
What is a dream, if it is not the opportunity to do good? Sure, a dream may be big…but if so it’s just a big opportunity to do good. But it’s the heart that comes first. If my heart doesn’t have the shape of Jesus, I’ll miss the opportunity to do good. Character is part of the calling. Morality shapes the mission. God always shapes a heart before He releases a dream.
He may unveil the dream long before he releases the dream, but the release date is dependent upon your heart. It’s not that he needs a perfect heart…but the shape of your heart matters. That’s why, at Calvary you will often hear me pray, “God please do everything in me that you need to do, so that you can do everything through me that you want to do.”
I’m going to hit this axiom again…but meanwhile, maybe that could be your prayer in the coming weeks?