If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8
It happened on a Wednesday afternoon back in 2005. I had left work and ran home to do something. I am a creature of habit which means I do the same thing over and over again. That includes the way I come and go to work. For years I followed the same path and then one day I just changed and now for the last six years or so I have followed that path. It’s just me and the way I am wired.
On that particular day I was doing my habit thing. I pulled out of the alley that borders my house and onto the street. Within a block there is a stop sign and like I did every time, I stopped. This intersection was more than a little tricky because of several trees and bushes that were planted right along the road. We are talking big trees and bushy bushes…all planted …very, close to the road. So, after I stopped and looked both ways, I edged out, stopped again, and did my best to peer through the bushy bushes and around the very, big trees. I didn’t see anything (besides bushes and trees), so I pulled out. Well, my best was not good enough.
As I pulled out, I pulled right into the path of a Honda Accord. There was no time for an oops, no time to stop and restart, no time to do anything but brace for impact. The Honda hit me on the driver’s side, right at the door post of my much larger Pontiac Grand Prix. I had never had an accident before, and I still remember how impactful (no pun intended) it was. Fortunately, the other driver was not hurt and besides a couple of sore spots neither was I. The only thing hurt was my pride. I had caused an accident. I was a bad driver—or, at least, that’s how I felt.
Truthfully, that wasn’t true. I wasn’t a bad driver, but the accident was still my fault. Well, before long the police were there, and they did their police thing. They asked questions and I explained how I had tried to look but just couldn’t see the car coming. He said he certainly understood and in fact, a police officer had been involved in an accident at the same spot for the same reason. All of that didn’t change the bottom line…it was my fault. All the reasons and excuses weren’t going to change that. It.Was.My.Fault.
I wanted to blame the owner of the trees and bushes. In fact, I did blame the owner of the trees and bushes. I even went to their house and explained about the trees and the bushes. I wanted somehow to shift the blame from me to someone, to anyone. I learned that from my grandfather, a zillion times removed. His name was Adam. When he sinned he blamed Eve and God. He may have sinned but “Hey,” he said, “it wasn’t my fault.” He found out what I found out…the bottom line is the bottom line. It.Was.My.Fault. We need to own our sin. John, the one in the Bible, said that if we don’t own our sin or if we say we have no sin, we are only deceiving ourselves.
Well, there were consequences. For my efforts I was given a ticket which tainted my almost perfect driving record. I say almost because way back in 1984, I was in a hurry going to a revival and was pulled over for speeding. I explained to the officer I was a pastor and going to church (that was when I found out that was NOT the right thing to say.) Anyway, the insurance company didn’t like my now further tainted record.
The one consolation was shortly after that day…the trees and bushes totally disappeared…the city took care of that. Oh, and to this day, I avoid that intersection. I still tense up when I cross there. Now there is more to this story and I’ll write about that tomorrow. But until then just know this. God is good, God is faithful, and God can be trusted, and even when it is all our fault, well, we can know, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne