At a Crossroads
By Dr. Bruce C. Swaffield
Professor, Regent University
Intersections are dangerous places. Paths converge. One way intersects with another. We must make a decision: we can go right, left, or straight ahead. Which way we choose depends, of course, on our destination.
At every nexus, there is usually a warning of some sort. There is a stop light where two roads meet, and there is God's prompting when it comes to the direction of our journey. He points the way to life; plus, he tells us the safest and surest route.
The decision, though, is up to us. We can keep going down the same road. Or we can make a left turn and go the right way, following the directions that lead us closer to God. Even if we make a mistake, we can still make a U-turn and get back on the proper course.
God is always ready and willing to help us correct our course. We cannot do it alone. His love and concern are like a personal GPS. If we do what we are told, we cannot go wrong. On the other hand, if we go our way we may be entirely on our own.
Learning to follow God is not easy. Sometimes he says to move forward while other times he says to stop. Failing to listen and obey most always spells difficulty. Once in a while, it can mean disaster.
Most children know the game called Red Light/Green Light. One person acts as the stop light while all of the others stand some distance away. They must listen carefully to the instructions; they can go forward on green, but must stop on red. If the stop light turns around and sees anyone moving after shouting red, that person is out of the game. The winner is the first person to reach the stop light. Occasionally, the stop light wins because everyone else has been eliminated.
Our lives are not a game, but the rules are much like Red Light/Green Light; the directions are simple and straight-forward. God never tries to fool us by saying one thing and expecting another. He tells us when to hold fast and when to proceed. I daresay that many times he has caught us in motion long after he shouts stop. Similar to this child's sport, we as Christians will never reach the goal if we keep getting caught doing the wrong thing.
If children can learn when to stop and go, then what is wrong with us as adults? Most of us stop and go every day on the road, each time we come to an intersection. Why is it so different and difficult when it comes to God? All we have to do is to listen and follow his commands.
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Bruce C. Swaffield is a Professor of Journalism in the School of Communication and the Arts at Regent University. He has been teaching literature and writing for the past 25 years. In 2004, he began a devotional website (www.devotionsforlife.org) that is updated daily. As an elder in a local church, he leads an adult Sunday school class and is active in numerous projects. He has been published in national and international journals as well as being the author and editor of several books. In addition, he is the founder and director of the Worldwide Forum on Education and Culture, which meets annually in Rome, Italy. Bruce's book of devotions: Devotions for Life: New Ideas from Old Ways. Bruce welcomes your email comments.
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