“Laws control the lesser man… Right conduct controls the greater one.” – Mark Twain
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good. – Titus 2:11-14
Extort: “to obtain from a person by force, intimidation, or undue or illegal power” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
A tall black man, eyes blazing in contrast to his dark skin, holds his palm up toward the oncoming driver.
The little white van squeaks to a stop beside the man in the road. No need to roll the window down. It’s hot and the air has stopped working more than a year ago. Naturally it’s already lowered.
“What do you want?” The driver of the little white van asks.
“Toll” is all the man standing in the sun replied.
“But this is not a toll road sir.”
“It is today.”
“This is extortion!” Came the voice from the van.
With a rev of the motor and a pitiful spin of a wheel the van rolled off into the dust.
Extortion was right. No one had placed a guard on that road. No one told this man to collect a toll. But that didn’t matter. He was there. He was demanding payment. Payment for no service rendered.
Relief filled the van as the road guard shrank in the mirrors and the cloud of dust.
“Too many people have paid that man.” Stated the driver.
“He’s been able to get away with it for years now.”
“Why?” Asked one of the passengers.
“Because there’s no one to stop him. What law there is, has been corrupted by laziness and bribes.”
How many “whys” can be asked until there’s no answer?
“Because…” Was the only answer left to reply.
What happens when God leaves your life? What happens when there is no standard of conduct, or measuring stick of behavior? Why wouldn’t someone collect a toll to a road with no control? Why wouldn’t powerful gangs set up rackets to fleece the poor and powerless? Why wouldn’t people take advantage of each other for personal gain? Because of laws? Because of a government? What happens when the laws and the government become the source of mischief? Where will morality come from then?
“Kids… I want you to remember this. God is the source of law and morality. God is the center of this world. He builds up governments and He takes them away. I could have paid that man. But what would I be doing? I would simply be encouraging Him to continue in a lie. Remember the source of morality. Remember that God is always in control and that we are always to follow Him. Remember that while sometimes there are tolls on the roads we travel, the most important path is the one following Jesus. And there will never be a toll on that road, because Jesus already paid the price on the Cross.”
The vans motor rhythmically oscillated in revs as they passed over the bumps of the jungle dirt road.
Daily Journaling Questions:
- How did I help someone today?
- What did I learn today?
- What am I thankful for?
- Who did I love today?
- What am I dreaming of?
- What about today do I want to remember forever?
- What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,