I did my second ride-along with a sheriff deputy this week. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as the first one. There were moments of lights and sirens. But the humanity of the department was on full view — we spent a good chunk of time waiting for a flat tire to be repaired. It happens even to them. When the tow truck didn’t have the right jack for that vehicle, he had to use the dinky jack provided in the car itself. It was a bit comical. And so human.
Most of our calls amounted to nothing. Fortunately. And then there was the out-of-state car parked near Del Cerro park. The driver was apparently enjoying some hillside hiking. But, he left his cell phone and keys in the passenger seat — and the window open. Not a really smart thing to do. Even in PV. And, of course, the car was parked the wrong direction. Do other states let you do that? The dilemma was how to respond. We didn’t want to come back and take a burglary report, but who knows when the driver was going to return. Another officer ended up locking the valuables in the trunk and writing a parking ticket. With a lovely note about being a bit smarter with security.
I almost got left at Chicken Maison. I was in the restroom when an emergency call came in. By the time I got out, the officers were gone. Now what do I do? I ran out and got into the waiting car. We picked up the food a couple of hours later. Cold.
The life of a deputy is certainly interesting and boring at the same time. You never know what’s next. Or when trauma will appear. That tension surrounds you throughout the shift. And when they do have to respond, they don’t know what’s waiting for them around the corner or on the other side of those tinted windows. They all have my respect. And though it may seem peaceful around here, crime is present, and we all need to be wise.
As I rode around not doing all that much, I thought how apropos this was to the Christian life. Often it feels like we aren’t really accomplishing a whole lot. Most of life is pretty mundane. It can feel like we are spinning our wheels. Or running in place. Life isn’t always about that next exciting adventure — it’s about relationships. It’s about being faithful and willing to be used by God. And that’s why I’m out with the deputies, to build some relationships, to be in a place where God can use me.
Easter was like that for us as a church. We made an inroad across the street. We had some just check us out. It is all about building long-term relationships that we might have an open door to share Jesus at some point down the line. It is the quiet ministry which often yields the most long-term results.
So, we press on. A tire may go flat. We may come across a situation where a solution is not easily found. But we do the best we can with the tools given to us by God. And that makes everyday life so exciting. How will God lead you this week? Keep your eyes open for ministry. Every day.