Trying to Keep My Toe Behind the Line

by Phyllis Sather on December 10, 2012

Last week I was reminded of a lesson I thought the Lord had taught me a few years ago, but once again I found that I had my toe just a teeny bit over the line.

Let me explain. There was a speaker that really changed my life with some of her teachings. One of the stories she always shared was about how the Lord had dealt with her desire to speed when she was driving. Then one day I had the opportunity to meet her in person. I was thrilled and looked forward to rubbing shoulders with her in a more personal way. We were to follow her family in our vehicle to their home. Just before we left she said to my husband, “I usually drive about five miles over the limit.”

I was shocked as I replayed in my mind her testimony of how the Lord changed her heart about speeding. We had the opportunity to spend several days with her and her family, but my disappointment in her really tainted that time.
The Lord had dealt with my desire to speed too – when I got stopped for speeding with all my soon-to-be young drivers in the van. Since I had never had a ticket, I got off with a warning. I was so shook up, wondering how I was ever going to tell my husband, that when I pulled into our garage I scraped the side of the van on the garage door and did considerable damage to both. At least that took my mind off how I was going to tell Dan I had gotten stopped for speeding.

Now, years later, I found myself in what had become my normal highway driving mode – cruise control set just one or two MPH over the speed limit, as my daughter and I drove about 100 miles to an appointment. We were listening to Christian music and just enjoying the day, when I was reminded about a teaching we had in one of our parenting classes.

It was how children often test their parents by seeing just how far they can put their toe over the line before their parent will correct them.

Why did I insist in driving one or two MPH over the speed limit? Did I really think that would make me get there that much quicker? And even if it did, was it really that important? No, I was just seeing how close I could get to the line without crossing over it.

That really isn’t obeying the spirit of God’s Word – He doesn’t talk about seeing how close we can get to sin without actually sinning, but warns us over and over to flee sin.

Right there in the van I confessed my sin to the Lord, lowered my cruise control, and settled back to enjoy the ride.

In what areas are you testing the Lord?

Psalm 51:2 KJV – Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

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Finding Joy in the Journey,

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Phyllis December 25, 2012 at 10:02 PM

I knew it must be something like that because I know how much you treasure your family. Your patients were blessed to have someone like you care for them on Christmas. I’ll bet you gave them more than they expected. Blessings…

Stacy December 25, 2012 at 7:37 AM

Oh, and just so you don’t wonder why I’m traipsing around the web instead of spending time with my family on this Christmas morning, I am working in the ER today. 🙂

Stacy December 25, 2012 at 7:37 AM

I needed to read this. Thanks for the timely “stepping on my toes” message. 🙂

Phyllis December 17, 2012 at 10:00 PM

I’m glad! Always thankful when something I write causes someone to draw closer to the Lord.

Pamela December 17, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Convicting post. one I will have to pray over. I want my toes to be back where God wants them to be.

Phyllis December 15, 2012 at 10:52 PM

The closer we get to the Lord the more often we notice the lines. Thanks for the good words Laura.

Phyllis December 15, 2012 at 10:52 PM

It is easy to think the “little” things don’t count – but there aren’t any little things. Thanks for stopping and commenting Trish.

Trish @ A House Upon The Rock December 13, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Oh, how easy it is to toe that line in so many ways.

Recently, through His Word I was convicted about something. My first response was the typical one I hear from most people. It was then that I realized “we” (everyone on a whole) tends to come up with excuses as to why we don’t follow different parts of His Word. We had a good family discussion about it.

Thank you for a good reminder to walk in His ways and to listen to The Spirit’s convictions on what seems like “simple” things.


Laura O in AK December 13, 2012 at 10:02 PM

I’ve had a few times when God’s laid a conviction on my heart to NOT cross a line that so many would cross without giving it a single thought. Just recently, my son and I went to the movie theater. I had a free coupon for my ticket which excluded any new releases and it was a new release that he most wanted to see. For a brief moment, I thought about my youth and how friends might hop between theaters to get a second show for free. And, I thought about how easy it would be to purchase a ticket for a different show but then go to the other. In the end, I knew that not only would that choice be a sin on my part but also a poor example to my son. Someday we’ll see the movie he wanted to see that day, but we still were able to enjoy our outing together and see a film that proved enjoyable, too.

Thanks so much for sharing this in the 40 Days of Seeking Him meme. We really appreciate it.

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