You can’t drive forward looking in a rear-view mirror


Ponderings by the Rev. Doug de Graffenried

You can’t drive forward while looking in a rear-view mirror.

You can try and many do.

Ministers spend lots of time in cars driving to various places. I enjoy my automotive world. With technology, I can hear the phone ring despite playing my radio loud enough to change my heart rhythm. I play the radio so loud because I don’t hear well after all these years of playing the radio very loud in my car. The vehicle allows the phone call to interrupt my musical moment. I never miss a phone call while driving. When I am alone, the air-conditioning is on the “freeze out” setting. I want to make sure that my glasses fog up heavily when I exit the vehicle. If I can’t see at all, the air conditioning was cold enough. I also look for sermon illustrations while I am driving. Jesus is certainly watching, but I am too! When I raise the phone while driving, I’m not texting. I am photographing.

One morning driving to work, I had the radio loud and the air conditioning on “freeze out,” while I observed the world. In front of me was a black mustang convertible. There was a girl in the car. I could tell because she had her rearview mirror cocked in the “installing make up while driving” position. We sat at the light and I watch as she applied some ointment, powder, or treatment to her face while the light was red. Because of the angle of the Mustang rear window, I could not tell if she continued applying make-up while driving. She was going “my way” and I did note she was an excellent driver and I’ll bet a super multi-tasker.

I have witnessed full facial make-overs while the person was driving the car. I have seen men put on a tie, send a text message, and read the newspaper at the same time while driving on the Interstate. But I am fascinated by the women who can put on that eye makeup stuff while driving. I have seen mascara going on while the nice lady was driving the car and making a cell phone call. I am amazed. They are doing all of this while looking backwards. The road they are traveling is out the front window!

But really, you can’t drive forward looking in a rear-view mirror. Jesus said, “If you put your hand to the plow and look back you are not worthy of the kingdom.” Jesus was saying you need to keep your spiritual focus and your life looking forward. If you look back to regrets, mistakes, slights, hurts, sins, or even successes you will miss the beauty of this day.

You didn’t know your car was spiritual, did you?