Friday, January 04, 2008
Don't Outfly Your Angels
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Not too long ago, my son, Russell, had an unusual trucking job. He transported about 30 very large “retired” trumpeting angels from a shopping center to storage. The job took about eight trips to cart the celestial beings to out-of-service duty. For several decades that chorus of steel and light bulb angels heralded the holiday season at a nearby shopping center.
Standing about 10 foot tall, the angels perched above the façade of the buildings year round, but their lights only shined over the shopping crowd during the Christmas season. On the way to storage, the route took Russell and angels by our home. Neighbor Linda saw him going down the road with three angels trailing his truck. Delighted by the sight, she phoned to say that Russell should be okay that day because “angels are following him.”
While there is information about angels in the Bible, I think mystery still surrounds their work. From the Bible stories of their interaction with man, they are messengers, protectors, providers of food and comfort, among other things.
I’ve never seen an angel, but I think I’ve seen the results when angels are active. When my children were young, two and six, one night divine intervention spared my family as I drove home in our pickup truck.
That night was before seat belt requirements, so my little ones knelt on the bench seat and watched the large moon shining through the back window of the single-cab truck. All of a sudden, their pensive mood changed and they asked if they could sit on the floorboard. They had never asked before and I had never allowed them to huddle in the small confines. I granted their request.
Just as they hunkered in the small area, the pickup truck slammed into something in our lane. I later learned that trespassers had cut a rancher’s barbed wire fence and four of his horses were out. We hit one. The poor horse didn’t make it and neither did our totaled truck.
The only undamaged areas were the driver’s space and the passenger floorboard where Russell and Sheryle crowded together. Over them, the passenger side of the cab crashed in close to the bench seat.
This weekend, our neighbors, Linda and Donald, had us over for dinner. We talked about the day she saw the angels trailing Russell, and she teased and said, “It’s a good thing not to travel faster than your angels can fly.”
Her words remained with me. I’ve shortened them for my 2008 motto: “Don’t out fly your angels.” The coined angel–phrase is a good prompt for living in this newborn year, both a caution and reminder of God’s multiplied blessings, because “[God] will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11a).