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Just drive down the road and you can learn a lot about someone. For instance, if I see a truck with a NWTF bumper sticker and a Remington logo surrounded by camo accents, I’m sure they will pretty much help me if I have a need of any kind. On the other hand, let someone drive by in a convertible Volvo with a bumper sticker that says, “Real men play polo,” I know pretty much I’m on my own. You say I’m profiling. I say you have an amazing grasp of the obvious. Yes I am and so do you. I actually see this in real-time almost every week. I own a fairly new and nice Toyota Tundra and a not-so-fairly-new-and-nice small SUV. The SUV is my preferred hunting and fishing vehicle. It goes no more than about 15 miles in one direction. While my Toyota turns some heads at times, my SUV turns noses – mostly up. The chicks don’t dig it and neither does anybody else. I can remember one time predicting that I would be pulled over by a park ranger. I had passed his parked car on the way to a hunt. His friends were just below my turn and had set up a roadblock. Fortunately, since I was turning before the roadblock, I would not have to be checked. But as I passed him, I knew he would assume I had simply tried to avoid it and would pull me over. I was right, and I don’t believe he would have done that if I had been in my Toyota. After sifting through the dirt in my back seat, checking my license, tags, and carry permit, he realized his judgment was wrong. Now before you condemn him for profiling me, let me assure you that you would have done the same thing. It’s natural and to deny this makes the deny-er untruthful. (The greatest blunder by my park ranger would have been if he had honestly denied that he was profiling) In fact, we all decide to be looked at in a particular way. We put camo and a gun sticker on our truck so others will see us a certain way. Many luxury car dealers advertise specific cars as being a symbol of success. We even buy certain clothes because they are embroidered with a logo that only a certain class can afford. We do all of this because we want others to categorize us. Just ask the millionaire who decides to become homeless for a week or the preacher who dresses up as a vagrant to see how his congregation will accept him, if all of this matters. They will tell you it does. We are all perceived and we all perceive others by certain visual criteria. We also perceive ourselves by those criteria. God doesn’t. He sees the heart, and while he probably couldn’t care less about what we wear or what we drive, he does care about the value we put on things that will rot, rust, or ruin. So go ahead and enjoy whatever God has blessed you with but remember the greatest class to be put in, is the class of those who value a right heart.
• Gary has three books that are compilations of the articles he has written for nearly 15 years. He also speaks at game dinners and men’s groups for churches and associations. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.