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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Billboard/Poster/Sign (any or all) (12/02/10)

TITLE: Pass with Care
By Carol Sprock


“No, Pete. Don’t try it.” Melissa laid a calming hand on her husband’s arm as he lifted his foot from the gas pedal, resigned to the SUV’s slower pace. Within thirty feet came “No Passing Zone,” broken yellow lines once fluttering out of the darkness now merging into a solid line, a sharp curve straight ahead.

“How’d you know that was coming?” Pete said, half grumpy, half admiring.

“Over the last fifty years, how many times have we driven this road?” Melissa gently chucked his chin just before “Pass with Care” popped on the horizon. Pete gunned the engine, veered out and around the Chevrolet Journey timidly traveling at eight miles below the speed limit.

“Pass with Care”—the phrase bemused me as I sat in the backseat eavesdropping on my parents. My dad had performed a mostly legal maneuver speeding slightly over the limit yet using directional signals with plenty of space between the two vehicles—was that passing with care? Certainly he had been vigilant and conscientious but did his neighbor, the driver, have any sense of being cared for?

As I mulled over the words, I was mindful of Philippians 2:2 where God urges us to make His day, so to speak, by acting with the attitude of Christ: “(M)ake my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind” (NIV). The chapter then details how Christ let go of his very God-ness, humbling himself to be born in human flesh to die an excruciating death merely because God asked it and because Jesus cares for me.

I am too often care-less: of myself, of others, of God. In fact, I find myself seeking no-passing zones where life seems stable and comfortable. Just keep moving forward and focus on basic driving maneuvers. I know what to expect and so remain in control. I like signs that encourage me to have it my way. On the other hand, stepping into each day in careful manner first entails yielding my desires and comfort level to God. Rather than following my agenda, I may need to stop and even give up my right of way to another.

“Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself” (Phil 2:3-5, The Message).

When driving, I am usually acutely aware of my immediate environment, watchful for signs to guide me safely to the next port. I'm reminded of how much is made of minimizing our ecological footprint, passing with care through the walkways of our world. Yet passing our neighbors and enemies with care necessitates more than a calculator to tread more lightly in this world. Instead, it requires us to be attentive and intentional, nurturing and considerate, gentle and mindful, assiduous and vigilant in all matters of the heart.

Today, I undertake again the challenge to choose in the Spirit's power to pass each of God’s children in my path with care, selflessly touching them in some way with tenderness, compassion, and encouragement (Phil 2:1). I will “(g)o out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society (to) provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God” (2:15, The Message). As God’s masterpiece, I thereby become His signpost.

May we all pass with care.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Nancy Bucca12/11/10
This much needed message would make a great devotional. How tempted we all are to ignore those signs!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/13/10
I so enjoy devotions that really make me stop and think about something with new eyes. You managed to do that quite nicely while still telling a personal story that most of us can relate to.
Patricia Protzman12/16/10
Congratulations on your HC win.