What do you do when no one is watching? Are you different alone than when you are in the presence of others? It has been said that true character is who you are when no one is looking.
I recently sat in a parking lot waiting on my wife as she attended to business at a local women’s boutique. As I quietly daydreamed, minding my own business, I noticed a family friend making her way to her car. She was not aware of my presence.
Before I knew it, she was crawling on the hood of her SUV, across the windshield and onto the roof of the vehicle. My otherwise tranquil slumber was interrupted as I was overcome with total amazement as my friend performed never-before-seen parking lot acrobats before my very eyes. It was as good, if not better, than any Barnum and Bailey circus act. This definitely qualified for Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
Next thing I knew, she shimmied, twisted and squeezed her way through the sun roof like Santa Clause down a tight chimney on Christmas Eve. As if that weren’t enough of a surprise, what happened next really caught my attention.
Once successfully inside the car, she didn’t drive away. No, with keys in hand, she crawled back out the same way she came! Was the door jammed? Were the locks frozen? Apparently such was not the case. Elated, she be-bopped back into the retail shop and soon returned with shopping bag and keys in hand. The vehicle’s doors were unlocked with ease as she slid behind the wheel and drove off smiling.
Did this really just happen? Would anyone believe what I just saw? At one point I did think about engaging the video function on my cell phone but ultimately opted out for fear of missing any of the action. Besides, what kind of a friend would ever reveal an incriminating mini documentary such as this to the world?
I couldn’t help but wonder how the story may have changed if she had picked me up in the corner of her eye. Sure, I could have volunteered to help, but before I could sit up in my seat, she was climbing her SUV like a mountain climber on an expedition. Maybe that’s where Ford got their idea for their monster SUV-from crazy ladies crawling on the hoods of their cars in urban parking lots.
Isn’t it funny how our actions change when we know others might be watching? We somehow forget the One who matters most is watching all the time. Imagine what He sees from His vantage point.
Peterson explained it this way in The Message, “You can’t keep your true self hidden forever; before long you’ll be exposed. You can’t hide behind a religious mask forever; sooner or later the mask will slip and your true face will be known.”
Jesus let us in on the truth in Luke 12:2, “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” Give this some thought the next time you experience some alone time. Truth is there is always someone watching.