Monday, June 19, 2006


When was the last time words like 'friendly, organized, and efficient' came to mind when describing a government operation? It's pretty unheard of. Yet, my trip to the Virginia DMV that I dreaded in a post last week came and went Saturday morning and it was downright pleasant. I was in and out in a half hour on a Saturday morning. Now it helped that I got to the DMV an hour before they opened and was one of the first people through the door. The line was about 100 people when the doors opened at 8am, and if I had been at the end of that line, my experience might have been quite different. But even during the half hour that I was there, the DMV was moving people through pretty efficiently; at least, that's how it seemed to me. I expected to be there for hours, and I also thought there was a real possibility that I wouldn't be able to get everything done there that I needed to. I was completely wrong on both counts, and I couldn't be more happy.

Too often, I assume the worst will happen in life. I've always been this way, and I'm actually a little better now than I used to be. But I know that my theology really needs to better inform me. My theology clearly states that while sin is real, comprehensive, deadly, and impacts everything about the human race and the world we live in, there is also a perfect God who through Christ is moving history in the direction of ultimate perfection. We're not just treading water in a world that will never get better. We're not just here to survive the ravages of sin. Sin was defeated at the Cross, and it is being defeated through the Holy Spirit's indwelling of his people. Sin will be finally and fully defeated at the Parousia. There really is a progression in which all the frustrations we endure today, big and small, are coming to an end. The days of sin are numbered, and I really need to remember that in my interaction with the world. We shouldn't be overly positive to the point where we think we can immune ourselves from pain and frustration just because we have Jesus. But we also shouldn't be overly negative by assuming that things aren't getting better, or that it's inevitable that everything will only get worse. My experience at the DMV is a very isolated event, but the attitudes I harbored about it have larger implications and applicability. Part of having a Christian worldview is not to compartmentalize our attitudes. That's where the sacred vs secular dichotomy comes from, and it's a completely wrong orientation to have. If there's something wrong with our attitudes in one area of our life, it would behoove us to see if something larger is going on and whether this particular area is one part of a larger picture that needs to be examined. This is what sanctification is all about, and my trip to the DMV was a sanctificational lesson for me.


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