When did driving become second nature? There are times I'm not sure how I ended up at my destination because I was in auto-pilot (makes you want to roadtrip with me, huh?)! Cars filled with kids hurling orders (and sometimes objects), phones repeating directions, and we keep looking back to see what everyone's up to. Sometimes it's what's in the car taking our eyes off the road, sometimes it's what is on our minds that keeps us elsewhere. Distractions can be dangerous.
In Genesis 19 we meet up with Lot, Abraham's nephew, as two angels come to see what's going on in Sodom. In Genesis 18:20-33, we read the conversation between Abraham and God in regard to this very situation. Abraham feared for his nephew, but God knew that there were few who possessed righteousness living in Sodom and wanted to send in His scouts before He took them all down. When the angels arrived, they were met by Lot who insisted that they come stay with his family- for he knew that otherwise these two would be treated very badly (that's putting it nicely). After they had eaten supper and were getting ready to rest, mayhem broke out. You can read all about what ensued in chapter 19, but let's say the angels needed no further evidence that the people of Sodom were despicable. They told Lot to prepare to leave and to gather any family because they were sent to destroy the land and its inhabitants. Lot obeyed, but in the end it was just him, his wife, and his two daughters. They dawdled some, until the angels were screaming at them and ultimately grabbed their hands to leave. I imagine that it was similar to my mornings trying to get my teenagers to GET UP and GET MOVING! They were just too distracted... but God was merciful. They got out. Fire and brimstone rained from the sky. The Bible says a river of lava poured out from the sky and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were blasted off the face of the earth.
But then verse 26... It's really our only glimpse at Lot's wife. One verse to capture her essence and reveal our similarities. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt. She looked back. She got distracted. She faltered. She knew the plan. The angels warned them to run for their lives and to NOT LOOK BACK, but she did. That's all we are told, but there's a little of Lot's wife in each of us.
God sent a rescue team for them. He gave them an out from the horrible situation they were living in. And yet, Lot's wife couldn't move forward in faith. The unseen, the unknown, it was too much for her to understand. She looked back at what she knew, where she came from. But where we come from is not always where we are meant to stay. We are not meant to camp out in the "before", never fully running towards the "after". What was she looking at? Who knows. It's what she wasn't looking at that matters.
What keeps you tethered to the past? What turns your eyes from His promise of greater things? God sent you a rescue team. Jesus died on the cross to rescue sinners and the Holy Spirit dwells within, but a rescue team can only rescue those who know they are in need of rescue- those who reach out their hands. Those who have faith.
It's not always easy, this is true, but the reward is so much greater when we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and move forward toward His plans. Jeremiah 29:11 is likely a verse you've heard, but I want you to camp out on it. "For I know the plans I have for you, " says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." HOPE. Jesus is our hope. There is no hope in turning back. Lot's wife is an unfortunate example of that. We are not to forget her fate, but instead to learn from her decision. With eyes fixed firmly on the road He has paved for you, the pit-stops you've passed remain behind. You no longer need to give them a glance. His hope awaits. Drive carefully!