I first heard of DriveCam when my nephew got his driver's license a few years back, and his mom's insurance company offered reduced rates for its use. This camera is installed on a vehicle's rearview mirror and records both interior and exterior activity whenever the engine is on. If triggered by a sudden or extreme movement, the camera forwards video of the preceding and following ten seconds to the DriveCam center for evaluation. Parents and teens then receive an email report, with recommendations for improved driving habits (and the occasional commendation for an accident avoided).
But those reports aren't needed as often as expected. Testimonials from novice drivers say that simply being shadowed by the camera helped them develop better driving habits, more than email reports did. Statistical data shows that use of DriveCam reduces accidents so significantly that some parents were inclined to buy nicer cars and cover cost of insurance for teens using a DriveCam. What's more, teens not at fault for an accident were absolved by the camera in situations where their word alone might not have stood against that of a more mature, at-fault driver.
There's no doubt that few teens initially welcomed such complete coverage of their driving. But in the long term, that camera's shadow provided more blessing than correction.
"[The inhabitants of this land] have heard that You, LORD, are among these people; that You, LORD, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night."
~ Numbers 14:14 (NKJV)
After 430 years in Egypt, the children of Israel walked out into the desert toward the Promised Land under a visible shadow (Exodus 40:34-38). In those initial forty years of walking with God, the Lord's clear presence assured His people of His provision, protection, and oversight. Disobedience received immediate rebuke, and one might surmise that few Israelites welcomed being shadowed at such times. But blessing far and away outweighed correction. In moments of greatest danger, that shadow of Light stood over them, covering them from harm.
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!"
~ Matthew 23:37 (NKJV)
When we first realize, as Adam and Eve did, that our sin makes us naked before God, our shame compels us to cover ourselves—and our attempts are as futile as fig leaves. God alone provides complete coverage for sin, through the blood of His Son. When we allow Him to clothe us (as Adam and Eve did), only then are we safe from exposure (Isaiah 61:10).
The shadow of God's presence does not merely throw a veil over sin and pass on, without truly covering us. This shadow of Light, rather, draws in ever more closely, "as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings."
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Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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