I have had more than my fair share of speeding tickets. I have actually lost track of the number of tickets I’ve received in my life. I must look like a suspicious individual because I am the guy who gets stopped for going five miles over the speed limit, or for having a ‘burnt out license plate light’. As a result, I have developed a small fear of police cars. As a result, I have also learned to see the speedometer as my ‘friend’, so to speak. Paying more attention to my friend has resulted in fewer tickets. Imagine that.
Driving was going along normally until a few weeks ago, however. I was on a long road trip, and my speedometer was broken. To make matters worse, it was a holiday weekend & police were out in force everywhere. As I was cruising down the interstate enjoying my drive, I looked up and observed a state trooper police vehicle in the other lane. Out of instinct, I looked down at my speedometer to see how fast I was going. It said zero because it was broken. I sensed a bit of panic come over me, so I decided to pray. Here is how I sensed the conversation occur:
ME: I have no idea how fast I am going, Lord. What am I supposed to do ?
DAD: Don’t worry about how fast you’re going.
ME: What? Why not?
DAD: Because I have a better way for you to drive.
ME: Really? How so?
DAD: Pay attention to the flow of traffic. Don’t get ahead of the traffic, and don’t fall behind. Stay in the midst of the traffic, and the police won’t be able to touch you.
So, that’s exactly what I did. At first, I continued to look down at my speedometer to see how I was doing, but each time I was reminded that it was broken. I simply had to ‘trust’ the flow of traffic around me. That’s when the ‘ah ha’ moment occurred:
ME: I get it Lord, you did this on purpose!
DAD: That’s right.
ME: This is just like my journey out of the religious system, isn’t it?
DAD: Yes. In the past, you were focused on the law & rules. Laws & rules were your ‘speedometer’. As long as you didn’t ‘cross the line’, you were fine. But now, I have awakened you to something greater than laws & rules. I have awakened you to life in the Spirit.
ME: Wow. Life in the Spirit is like the traffic flow, isn’t it?
DAD: Yes. I want you to focus on the ‘traffic flow’ of the Spirit within you, and within the lives of your brothers & sisters I have placed you in community with. When you are focused on the indwelling Spirit of Christ within you and your spiritual family, you will be able to do things that you were once not aware of when your focus was only on the ‘speedometer’ of rules and obligations.
ME: Yes, being aware of the ‘traffic flow’ will help me slow down when I need to, or speed up when I need to. Driving within the flow will be much more peaceful and smooth.
DAD: Yes, when you are in the midst of the traffic flow, there will be times that you will need to slow down or speed up. The ‘speedometer’ is unable to show you this. If your focus is simply the ‘speedometer’, then you may hit the traffic in front of you that has come to a halt. A focus on the speedometer could also cause you to block the traffic flow around you when things have sped up. Paying attention to the ‘traffic flow’of my Son ‘IN’ you and your community is vital. The law has no more hold on you when you are flowing within the midst of the traffic. The ‘speedometer’ cannot show you how to drive, but the traffic flow will show you how you should drive.
ME: I get it. In the same way, the law of sin & death can show us what not to do, but it is only the indwelling Spirit of life that can love through us. What the law is powerless to do, the Spirit of life in us can accomplish freely.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Gal. 5:22-23, NASB)
For Further Explanation…
For further explanation of the superiority of New Covenant living, consider this exposition from Waylon Jennings: