Flirting with the Line

There is an expression “flirting with the line” where you get close to doing something you know you shouldn’t. This has new meaning for me after last night.

Open Confession: my wife always leaves the car on empty and it drives me nuts. It’s one of those things that’s my pet peeve. More often than not whenever I get into the car it is on empty. She loves to go as long as possible without getting gas, and it never bothers her. Mostly because she has an uncanny ability to pass the car off to me right when it needs gas. Needless to say this bugs me, but she never found it a problem until last night.

Last night I got a sheepish phone call from my wife. She had 42 km left before dead empty on our car, and went into work without filling up in our town. She then went to visit friends, again not filling up. She was “flirting with the line”, an empty gas gauge. She got right close to empty and found 2 things: a gas station, and the realization she had left her wallet 30 km away at home. So here she was with no money, and no gas. Hence a sheepish phone call to me.

Eventually when you flirt with something long enough, you fall into it. This is what happened to Krista – eventually hitting empty, and being stuck in an awkward setting. But this type of behavior doesn’t just happen with gas gauges, Paul says it happens with sinful behavior all the time. We might allow ourselves to flirt with the line of rage, jealousy, greed, hate, or lust. We sometimes like to get close without crossing over. We don’t want to fall into it, but allow the feelings to be there for just a bit. But eventually when you flirt with the line getting close again and again sooner or later you cross the line. You might find yourself filled with rage, letting jealously control you, unable to get out of greed, or have lust ruin relationships.

So my challenge for today is if there is something where you are tempted to “flirt with the line”, pull back. Why bother getting close? Why even let yourself go there? You are made for more than that. Why bother focusing on the line or what you can’t do? Why not focus on how you can be someone filled with peace, grace, generosity, love, and life. And maybe today it starts with just deciding not to get anywhere close to that line.

And for my wife, if your reading this, maybe that means filling up the car… 😉