The Brake or the Gas Petal
And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.
There are times to hit the gas and then there are times to press on the brake. Wise is the person who knows which pedal to choose. To accelerate in the moment that restraint is called for is dangerous, but to hesitate, when clearly the moment cries out for a fast-track approach is equally disastrous. We who trust in Jesus may honestly look out over our times and ask ourselves the question, is it the brake we need or the gas petal? Should we run for cover, circle the wagons, and wait for Jesus to pull us out of this mess or march forward into the fray?
It was the first time I borrowed my father’s car. I must have been 16 years old, and so, my lack of experience on the roadways was only supplemented by the overconfidence of youth. I believe the car was a Buick Century. All was going well until I came upon a straight stretch of road and found myself behind a very slow little old lady. Seeing the dotted line before me I felt the adrenaline rush through my veins. This would be my first experience passing a car in real time and in a live setting. My father was not in the passenger seat, and so, alone to make my own decision, I hit the gas, as any young self-respecting teenager would do. I pulled into the passing lane and looked over at Granny Whoever and smiled politely. I looked back in front of me and a semi was headed toward me. I knew I had a decision to make and split seconds to make it. I pressed the gas harder. I suppose you could surmise from the fact that I am writing this article that I survived the event, and you would be correct. I pulled the old Buick back into my lane, having passed my slow driving senior citizen friend, with my heart thumping out of my chest. I decided in that moment to keep the experience to myself.
When the Apostles of our Lord were threatened in the Book of Acts to keep their mouths shut concerning Jesus Christ they immediately returned to the Temple and preached louder than they had before they were arrested. Rather than press on the brake, they hit the gas pedal. What these men of God realized was that everything in this life is temporary including their own lives. They understood that the eternal destinies of men and women were determinant on faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ and that they would stop at nothing to preach Jesus louder and clearer than before.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, this is no time for stage fright. When the curtain goes up, as it has in our culture and world today, it is time to hit the gas and open our mouths wide, without fear, sharing that the only hope this world and people have is Jesus Christ.