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A “Blankety Blank” Driver

 There has never been a time in my life when I could have competed in any sort of “extreme sporting” event.  I am not much of a Daredevil!  Forget skydiving, rock climbing, hang gliding, and bungee jumping, I don’t even like the Ferris wheel or merry-go-round.   I have no need for an adrenaline rush.  I am not one of those who lives on the edge.  There not much that I do that is in any way risky, dangerous, or life-threatening.Well, that’s not completely accurate.  I do take some risks whenever it starts snowing.  As soon as the snow starts the fall, as it did a few months ago, I have this overwhelming urge to get behind the wheel of my car and do a little sight-seeing.  Now that might not seem radical or edgy to you, but every time it snows and the people over at VDOT say to stay off the roads because they are slick and dangerous, you’ll will find me sitting behind the wheel of my car wanting to get out and look around.

Maybe it’s because I grew up in Florida.  From age three until I moved to Louisville, Kentucky to attend seminary, I had lived in the sunshine state.  You don’t see a lot of snow in Florida.  I saw a little snow in Kentucky, but not much.  My first really big-time snow event took place during my first winter in Virginia while living on the Northern Neck.  It wasn’t snow, it was a blizzard.  There were sub-zero temperatures and 20 inches of snow on the ground.  It was incredible.

As soon as the snow stopped falling, I cranked up the engine in my tiny Toyota Corolla and decided to do some “pastoral visitation.”  I knew that Luther and Margaret Welch lived in a somewhat secluded area with lots of tree-covered roads and open fields.  I could take the long route to their house, passing by the church and some other landmarks of interest.  I just knew it was going to be great.

Everything was working out just fine until I got about a mile from their home.  I came up over a hill and the car started to slide.  I knew that you are supposed to turn in the direction of the slide, but in the moment, that didn’t make much sense.  I fought the slide, the slide fought me, and I ended taking out a mail box before getting stuck on the side of the road, in front of a tiny house owned by a fellow whose name I cannot recall.  What I do remember is how he greeted me?

“Who the blankety-blank taught you how to blankety-blank drive that blankety-blank car?” he said.

“I am sorry, Sir!” I said sheepishly.

“You ought to be sorry!  When my blankety-blank wife sees what you did her mailbox, she’s going to have a blankety-blank cow!”

I remember think that his image sounded like it would be very painful for his wife, but I didn’t say anything!

“What the blankety-blank are you doing out here anyways?” he asked.

“Well, you see, sir, I am the new pastor at Morattico Baptist Church.  I am on my way to visit one of your neighbors, Luther Welch.  I am really sorry about your mailbox.  I am new to driving in the snow.”

Oh, I wish you could have seen his face!  He was so embarrassed.  Suddenly everything changed about his whole demeanor.  His continence changed from that of a grumpy old man to a nice and neighborly country-boy.  He cleaned up his language.  He didn’t say another blankety-blank cuss word.  He helped me free my car from it predicament.  He offered me some helpful instructions about driving in the snow.  He wouldn’t let me pay for any damages to his mailbox.  He said his wife would understand when he explained what happened.

Before leaving, I invited him to worship that following Sunday.  He told me he was already a part of another church and that he never missed a service.

Well, I should hope so!

So what happened when he found out that I was a preacher?  Embarrassment!  Shame!  Guilt!  Probably all of those things!  But maybe (I hope) it was something more.  Maybe when he found out I was a preacher, it reminded him of his own identity as a Christian.  Just maybe he really was a part of another church.  Maybe he did worship every week.  But in these moments, with his grass being eaten up and mailbox destroyed by an inexperienced snow day driver, he forgot all about being a Christian and the blankety-blanks began flowing!

What is it that makes you forget who you are?

Here’s an even better question!  What helps you remember who you are?

Birthright: Christian, Do You Know Who You Are? (Classic Critical Concern)
by: David C. Needham
publisher: Multnomah Books, published: 2005-11-11
ASIN: 159052666X
EAN: 9781590526668
sales rank: 217812
price: $9.26 (new), $10.42 (used)

David Needham asks “Christian, do you know who you are? ” in this remarkable and easy-to-understand rerelease of his book about the Christian’s birthright. He offers fresh insight into the theological problem of Christian identity, biblically based teaching, and a challenge for personal enrichment and further Bible study. Birthright achieves an excellent balance between the theological and the practical. The author’s sincerity and candid writing style are guaranteed to buoy the spirits of readers.

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One Response to “A “Blankety Blank” Driver”

  1. Sarah Sellers Gholson says:

    Bill, This is wonderful! Things that make me forget are the pains and losses we all feel sometimes; things that make me to remember are the sacred moments of fellowship with other people who love God, and always the music. God speaks to me in music since I was very little. Big Hug to both you and Jeana.

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