The water rushing by my kitchen door picked up depth and speed with each half hour that passed.
It's only happened a couple times in the 10 years we've lived in this particluar house. That's why it's so unsettling. Behind us is just a gently sloped back yard that leads up to a ridge line between us and property belonging to Ijams Nature Center. Not anywhere you would expect to see water rising.
But it had been raining steady and hard for several hours and when I saw my local news begin breaking in with pictures and videos of what their reporters were witnessing I decided that it was probably a good idea for me to check my own yard.
After all they said they hadn't seen this much rain at one time in years.
First I saw our garbage can lid. But it wasn't on the garbage can as it whipped past down the driveway. And then our outdoor broom floated by.
My miniature dachshund Mr Pickles wouldn't even venture out onto the porch to look, let alone attempt to get to the usual places he goes when he has to 'take a break'.
As I settled back in front of the TV to watch the constant coverage now, I was dumbfounded. As more areas were flooding, our local reporters and meteorologists were warning people that it was an extremely dangerous situation. As we were told to stay put whether at work or home, to avoid even puddles, and as they gave the not very commonly used "turn around - don't drown" warning I noticed something.
Our 'eye-in-the-sky traffic' guys, and other media folk who listen to emergency scanners began letting us know people were having to be rescued from cars, trucks, and suv's. I was amazed at the rescue efforts and miracles taking place - but I begin noticing vast amount of people were still determined to continue driving through the ever growing bodies of water. People were insisting on still moving their cars through water that was picking up speed, rushing faster and faster! Some crossroads and low lying areas had already seen water rescues this very day and yet here these people were, still driving on purpose straight into the water threatening their very lives.
What were they thinking?! As I sat there wondering aloud at the very levels of stupidity they were exhibiting, willing to put their very lives at risk just to get somewhere on time, I couldn't believe it.
Parents with children in the car were pulled to safety - some from the rushing waters as they overtook their car. I saw two separate videos of teen and a man each standing on the roof of their vehicles as they were physically saved by municipal workers with ropes tied to them. These brave men had jumped to action because every firetruck, anbulance, and rescue squad vehicle in our county were attending to other rescues all over town.
After several hours the rain slowed, some of water began to recede. The threat was over. But so many had made bad choices. So many made decisions that not only put others they loved at risk, but in some cases those they didnt even know - some rescuers almost lost their own lives trying to be a needed miracle.
As I sat contemplating those who had made such obvious bad choices that familiar tickle at the edge of my mind began. Ah yes. Memories began "flooding' back, as they always do when I get up on my high horse. I began to think about myself. How many times did I do the same thing?
So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
Maybe I didn't drive into actual swollen creeks in a literal rain storm, but for sure many times in my life I have entered dangerous waters. I've rushed into a relationship, then let it deepen when red flags were clearly visible. I certainly remember deciding that chancing another night of reckless behavior wasn't one too many. I recall diving straight into crashing waves taking others with me. I have taken stupid risks when I knew better. Even when others tried warning me. When people who genuinely cared tried to tell me to 'turn around - don't drown'.
As we travel this earth in our risky and futile attempts to be so independent, thinking we dont sometimes know whats best, we not only are at risk but we often put others in danger to. We can be so selfish.
God always provides red flags though. Here's praying next time that we will heed His warning signs. And here's to hoping we'll immediately thank God for providing both the gentle stirrings of the Holy Spirit, the floating garbage can lids, and the shouts from friends on the banks of rising waters yelling for us to stop!
And let's pray that we dont too harshly judge others each day for their mistakes. We only need remember how easily and foolishly we have made our own.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God.