Skid marks were all that was left. A tow truck had taken away the car and a crew had cleaned up all the shards of broken glass. As time goes by rain and snow and traffic will wear away the black stains. Not all skid marks are the remnants of an accident. Sometimes they are just the opposite. Skid marks on the end of a runway mean many flights had safe landings.
Life leaves skid marks on people. We are marked by life’s tragic events. Accidents, death, disappointments and failed goals mark us and like the disappearing skid marks on the highway time has a way of helping our emotional past to slowly fade. But it does take time even for the bold who act like they are recovered. It is one of the reasons we advise people who have lost a dearly loved spouse not to make any major decisions for at least a year. No matter how seasoned, we are not immune.
Jesus forgives sins in an instant. It often takes much longer for us to forgive ourselves. We rue our mistakes and harbor wrongs that we have done. Jesus forgives but the skid marks remain and it takes time. Forgiveness is a two way event. As we forgive others so must we forgive ourselves seventy times seven. We wonder how we could have been so stupid. Well, we are. It’s part of being a human, a major part. But just as surely as the black stains disappear on the highway so they will fade for us. Living the abundant life promised to us by Jesus is acknowledging our humanity and forgiving ourselves for being so. Hopefully, some of your skid marks are and will be the remnants of safe landings.
Written by Roger Bothwell on October 5, 2015
PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574