By Stephen Leonard
“Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ‘Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” Matthew 4:5-7
Driving anywhere is always fraught with the opportunity for an accident, but driving in India, accidents are a sure thing most of the time. Traffic is very noisy there, because if you are in an accident, the first thing the police ask you is, did you honk? So everyone honks constantly.
All roads are covered with a conglomeration of cars, trucks, motorcycles, jitneys, mopeds, bicycles, ox carts, and pedestrians, all sharing the same road. All think they have the right of way!
Passing is very chaotic. There can be passing, which is as wide as 4 or 5 vehicles, all trying to pass one another all at once. Passing is often based not on looking first, but “Que Sera Sera,” what will be, will be! In other words, why look first, because what Allah wants will happen no matter what you do, so just do it!
Consequently, there are frequent head-on collisions. And there are numerous wrecks, indicating those head-on collision vehicles sitting beside the road to prove the fact.
This manner of driving is a live example of our text, “do not put the Lord your God to the test!” You can live your lives with prudence and good common sense, or you can live them without caution, helter-skelter, with literally no common sense. Life in this manner means accidents, even fatalities.
Inappropriate speed, lack of control, regular use of intoxicating substances, “Que sera sera” attitudes, all lend themselves to accidents that happen. This is not so much an accident, but an inevitability. Unfortunately, these take the lives of others who are not behaving foolishly as you.
Putting God to the test repeatedly is not a way for a Christian to ever live their life. You must take caution in your lives constantly and consistently. Use good common sense always! This is not only for yourself; it is also for your neighbor whom you are to love.
To live on this earth is to live in community, whether you choose to or not. Everyone has neighbors you must be concerned with, even as yourself. Every act you take must take into account your neighbor’s life. And even those choices you make with no one around should not disobey the Lord your God by putting Him to a test. Harrowing choices will do just that!
“Amazing grace! —how sweet the sound—that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.”
(1st verse of John Newton’s hymn, “Amazing Grace!,” 1779)