“Some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug” is a phrase I picked up from a co-worker on a job years ago. It’s something I catch myself saying when everything seems to be going wrong. The washing machine won’t spin and I’m wringing out cold wet clothes by hand. My car won’t start but the boss demands I report to work – good luck finding a ride at six in the morning. In the check-out line I discover I left my wallet at home; an hour of shopping wasted and no way to pay for all those groceries. The neighbors are screaming; the dog is barking at the neighbors; and my husband tracks mud onto my freshly mopped kitchen floor. Those days I’m the bug splat on the windshield. By the end of a chaotic day, you have to scrape me off the floor because I’m done!
Then there are the days where everything seems to be clicking along without a hitch. My marketing presentation is flawless and I get a pat on the back from my boss. Thanksgiving dinner turns out perfectly as I get everything on the table at the same time—a feat in and of itself. Needing another used car, the very one I want operates without a hiccup and I pay far less than originally quoted. Days like these leave me feeling blissful and accomplished. On days like these, I’m the windshield!
Jesus is the windshield
I think about the disciples on the boat with Jesus. Everyone is resting as the boat travels from one part of the water to another. Jesus is sleeping. Storms break out and the boat is dangerously thrashed about as the disciples cry out for help. Awakened by His frantic crew of young men, the Lord rises from his slumber. He immediately rebukes the storm and peace covers the atmosphere. With three words, “Peace, be still” Jesus shields the disciples from the ravages of tempest wind and the boat floats calmly towards their destination. In the storms of life, Jesus is always the windshield.
Jesus is not the bug
I never read in scripture Jesus was the bug. No matter the situation, He always appears composed. It was only in the temple as He flipped over the tables and cracked a whip He seemed a little unhinged – but He had the right. People were using a place of worship for self-benefit and profit; completely disregarding the purpose of the temple. He didn’t even lose his cool when being led away and tempted by the devil for forty days.
No matter the temptation to sin, Jesus didn’t cave. Satan, like some annoying buzzing insect, couldn’t penetrate the tough exterior of the Lord’s fortified soul. “If you bow down and worship me”…splat! “I’ll give you all the kingdoms of the world”….splat! Just like the bug hitting the windshield of a moving car, there’s Satan squished to the glass while Jesus remains, tough as nails. Man, I’d like to be that tough.
Jesus, tough like Teflon
Jesus is tough like Teflon all the time. Even when I am bursting through barricades and clearing obstacles, I still feel more like a paper plate. Good thing paper plates are recyclable! Just like paper plates, after the remains of the day have left their residue on my surface, Jesus can take my tattered paper and turn it into something permanently usable. He can make me tough like the windshield.
The windshield and the bug
I use the windshield and bug analogy when talking to people in my ministry. It seems to sum up some of the frustrations people share with me on a given day. We Christian’s face a lot of opposition. When things go wrong for us, we’re expected to be composed—after all, the lost are always watching. It’s not easy to remain positive in a world with so many struggles.
Things usually break down at the worst possible time. Loved ones suddenly pass with no indication of sickness. You go to work one morning to learn you’re out of a job due to company downsizing.
Sometimes we receive backlash from others we don’t deserve. Like them, we’re also trying to maneuver through life hoping to get to the end of it unscathed. When I’m randomly accosted by someone spewing their venom I sometimes think they must be feeling like the bug. Maybe they too just received a pink slip from their boss, or they’ve just lost the love of their life to something horrible like cancer.
The bug goes splat
Life will throw curves we don’t see coming. Out of nowhere, in an instant, an event can take you out of commission; and just like the bug hitting the windshield, you’re splat. Most of the ugliness we experience from other people comes from what troubles their souls. Like flying insects, people can be restless. Buzzing around from one disappointment to another until they become so jaded, everyone is their enemy. They flutter through life expecting to avoid a painful target then get smashed by a windshield they didn’t see coming. That’s what life is like for people without Jesus.
When we meet with unrest and unease, like the disciples caught in the raging waves of a small boat, we have a savior we can call upon to shield us from impending doom. For the lost, the windshield is a hardened place of consequence they meet flailing through the air looking for refuge. For us, even when we’re buggin’ out, the windshield isn’t there to squash us; its only there to break the force of impact from life’s calamities’.
Feeling like the bug
I imagine a lot of people are feeling like the bug. For many, the last year has been daunting. Money is tight, and others are fighting against the demands of the system. They’re unemployed and their conviction won’t allow them to surrender to mandates they feel strongly could kill them if they capitulate to their employers. The world is still in upheaval and unrest. At times, it’s been a challenge to remain in joy, but there is hope. Even in our darkest hours, we have the strength of Jesus to cling to and we know He always makes a way.
After a very long and arduous year, we’ve approached the holiday season. Thanksgiving is closely upon us. I’m reminded of how well our Father provides for us even in difficult seasons. When the pressures and pitfalls of life weigh us down, His love is the shield protecting us from gale force winds trying to beat us into nothingness. In deep sorrow from tragedy, hardship or loss, He speaks to the wind and says, “Peace, be still” and gives us a moment to catch our breath. Suddenly, He swoops in to comfort us and we find rest in His protection. We have that hope; so many others do not. We have much to be thankful for no matter how complicated our lives may be sometimes. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
Learning to be the windshield
There is joy in the holiday season and this Thanksgiving I’m focusing on the good things God has provided. The devil has had many opportunities to break my spirit and overwhelm me with disappointments, but God has been faithful. My needs are met and I’m physically whole. You can’t put a price on health.
I still have those days where anything that could go wrong does, but I find myself feeling less and less like the bug hitting the windshield. As my walk with God matures, I find each ‘interruption’ is not as disruptive to me as the last. I don’t know if I’ve just learned to roll with the punches or if I just don’t care as much – caring less about certain things is a blessing of aging.
Things that bothered me years ago don’t seem to be as irritating. Right now, I have laundry piled on the floor, a sink full of dishes and poufs of dog hair all over the house. My ailing cat can no longer make it to her box, so she pees wherever Mother Nature dictates. I clean up the puddles of pee right away, but the pouf balls are still slouching on the floor and the dishes haven’t washed themselves. At the moment, this little ditty I’m writing for Life Network for Women has my attention and everything but the pee will wait. Seems to me like I’m now the windshield! The only thing that has gone splat is my compulsion to live in an immaculate home. Praise the Lord! I am redeemed!
Life is short
Life truly is short and I’d rather look for the good in a bad situation over bemoaning things I cannot control. I can’t control my cat’s bladder, but I can control my response to the mess she leaves on the floor. Instead of allowing frustration to set in, I remind myself she’s going to Heaven soon and she’ll have a new fur body that won’t even need a litter box. I’m enjoying what time I have with her.
When the washer won’t spin, I still have the use of my two hands and the strength in my arms to wring out my clothes. I have known people who need help with shoelaces because they’ve lost use of an arm. Perspective changes when you see others have far greater challenges than your own.
At the end of the day (to use an overly used expression), I want peace. Angst, worry and fear are not conducive to a healthy life. I’d rather live in a state of gratitude even on days when I’d like to pull my hair out. I know God’s got better things ahead and I trust Him to complete what we’ve started. Him and I, doing life together one day at a time and we have big plans for the future.
The future is a windshield
Yes, some days you’re the bug and some days you’re the windshield; but with Jesus, even if you’re the bug, He never lets you crash. Just like the disciples in the boat only seconds from disaster, He saves you from the splatter. Anyone else hearing a song in that?
The wind and the storm may try to direct our fate like the fate of a fluttery insect haphazardly flying squarely into a Teflon windshield, but after you’ve hit the glass a few times you decide to become the windshield.
The perils of life have a way of correcting our flight when we’ve flown into enough windshields. Past experience does have a way of directing future events; therefore, I’m aiming to be more like Jesus in those moments.
I like the old saying, “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.” Well, I know the future and He’s definitely a windshield.
©2021 What You Will
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