Bumper Stickers

Commuting has become a basic part of my daily routine. I’ve learned to use my commuting time well (mostly through audio books) but I’ve also noticed how driving has sharpened my senses. I’ve begun to drink in the sights of the freeway, especially when it comes to noticing other cars. I’ve definitely seen a variety of vehicles over the last several months from mud-caked jeeps churning up gravel to sleek speedsters whisking down the freeway. But on this particular morning, one vehicle stopped me in my tracks. The first thing I sensed in this automobile was not it’s appearance, but it’s sound. I heard it clearly before I saw it—a muscular, guttural roar. The shadow of a huge, charcoal-gray, Dodge pick-up spread over my Subaru as it rumbled up behind me. The knobby wheels almost seemed as high as my side-mirrors, and the jacked-up suspension made it all the more imposing. With another deep-throated growl that sent a shudder through my windshield, it quickly sped into the distance. But as it passed, I noticed a large bumper sticker on its fender, that said in thick, black letters, “RABID DIESEL.” I couldn’t help but smile, thinking that phrase really did capture it’s first impression. Everything about that vehicle presented the same message—power, ruggedness, fierceness, muscle. The phrase on the back was hardly needed. The car embodied perfectly what was written on it’s back.

That got me thinking about the message that we present as Christians each day. If for some reason, I had the word, “Christian,” stamped on my back, could people immediately nod knowingly and say, “I know he is a Christian without reading that”? What kind of witness am I sharing with my everyday demeanor, words, actions, and habits? And as a church community, can people immediately recognize that we embody the message we want to present? It was a question that made me squirm a little, but I kept reviewing it in my mind—feeling more convicted every moment. We all have the blessed opportunity to live out our Christ-centered faith every day. James 1:23-25 says it well: “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” Praise God! We have the chance to be doers of the Word!