Navigating by Taillights (or “Why I Read Old Dead Guys”)

My lesson tomorrow night will pull substantially from Augustine’s Confessions, and with that in mind, I’ve got a story for you…

image source: Wikimedia Commons

Monday evening, I drove back to Tampa after visiting a few of our college students up in Tallahassee, and just as I was starting to see signs for Dade City, the bottom fell out.  The dark clouds overhead gave way to a downpour, and with the raindrops pummeling my windshield, I could barely see a thing.  The only things standing out from the drenched landscape were the two bright red taillights of the Mazda in front of me.  Remembering back to drivers ed, I focused my attention on those taillights, knowing that the driver in front of me was also focusing on the taillights in front of him, and slowly but surely, our line of cars made its way down I-75 until the storm cleared and I arrived safely in Tampa.

As I drove along in the rain, dependent on the taillights of the car in front of me, I couldn’t help but think about all the Christian writings from over the centuries– Paul, Augustine, Tertullian, John Chrysostom, Anselm of Canterbury, Martin Luther, and all the others in between.  These earlier Christians made so many contributions to the way we think, but more importantly, they faced many of the struggles we endure today.  They left records not just of their victories, but of their mistakes as well, and all of it is still very much relevant to us today.  When the rains pour down around us and we lose sight of things above, how wonderful is it to look ahead and see someone else’s taillights and know that, just as they pulled through, so will we?

Grace and Peace,
Tom

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