Friday, January 29, 2010
CAUTION! STOP! WALK!
One of the early lessons of living in a fast-paced society filled with people all trying to get someplace quickly is recognizing the SIGNALS that help coordinate the flow of traffic. This lesson is aided by the presence of numerous law enforcement officials who’s task it is to see that everyone obeys the rules of the road.
I’m reminded of one such very dedicated official that took his job very seriously. Barney Fife of “The Andy Griffith” sitcom, despite all of his misadventures in “fighting the crimes” of Mayberry, was a stickler for the laws. Most memorable in my mind was the oft’ repeated situation of him calling a Mayberry citizen to task for JAYWALKING, and promptly writing him a ticket for the misdemeanor. In Mayberry, such enforcement seems ludicrous. New York City, maybe, but Mayberry? Laugh though we do, we cannot fault his attention to duty and the rules he pledged to enforce. And who can say, but what some speeding pickup might round the corner of that small community and land that same JAYWALKER in the hospital or worse. My hat’s off to you, Barney!
Yes, we grow up learning the rules and the SIGNALS designed to keep us and others safe in the midst of our scurrying to and fro on the road of life. Three very important and common signals we find on almost every street corner, except perhaps Mayberry, are those that tell us CAUTION! STOP! or WALK!
These signals also give individuals a series of warnings and counsel on the way they are to move through their daily lives and do so with better opportunities to do so with safety and with joy. Failure to do so can lead to a person’s danger, heartache and wasted time and life, not to speak of the potential hurt to others who may be encountered.
The CAUTION LIGHT is a very critical signal for it warns of potential danger with forward movement. It is frequently seen controlling the movement of ongoing traffic, but it may tell of a crisis on the road ahead that could threaten. In life one who does not heed such a signal from God’s Holy Spirit or His Word, could be heading into a spiritual maze of Satan’s making. Peter gives counsel regarding being serious and watchful, “because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about. Seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8)
When you come to those crossings in life’s road, where there are choices to be made regarding your direction, be CAUTIOUS and weigh carefully which road is God’s direction and which is a route desired by Satan, and meant to rob you of the joyous life God intends. God would have you no longer walk in the way of the ungodly or those who persist in a willful and sinful way, for these will not stand in the day of judgment. (Psalm 1:5) Consider your life today. Are you “throwing CAUTION to the wind” when temptation to sin comes your way, or are you calling upon the name of the Lord to help and guide you in the right path and proceeding therein!
The STOP LIGHT could be said to be a warning, as well, keeping one from stepping into the path of destruction. All too often in life, however, CAUTION “has been thrown to the wind” and sinful action taken. Far too many regret the day when such was a bad choice made and it landed them in a life of disabling spiritual defeat, suffering the consequences of foolish walking in the flesh. With Christ, however, even one who has stepped out onto sin’s road has the possibility of redemption. The STOP LIGHT gives warning but it also issues a command to STOP WALKING on sin’s pathway.
Paul’s counsel to the Ephesians in Chapter 4 challenges us to STOP, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” (vs 14) We’re told to STOP and put away lying, sinful anger, the giving of place to the devil, stealing, corrupt and evil speaking, bitterness, wrath, malice and the grieving of the Holy Spirit. (vss 25-31) And the apostle John then gives us this blessed promise, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9) With this and our Lord’s new path before us, we will find another SIGNAL given!
The GREEN LIGHT to WALK is a signal that shouts “all clear to proceed” to the one facing it’s light. Even though sometimes it seems the light will never change in our favor, and we are tempted to move against its directive, spiritual wisdom counsels that waiting on God’s SIGNAL is a far better choice.
Again, in the Ephesian letter of Paul, Chapter 4, he speaks of the GREEN LIGHT of the Christian’s WALK. “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind…put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness…speak every man truth with his neighbor…working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth…let communication proceed out of your mouth…which is good to the edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers, and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (vss 23-32) The apostle John also gives this word of challenge regarding the Christlikeness of one’s WALK, “He that saith he abideth in Him (Christ) ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” (I John 2:6)
DEAR FRIENDS, BE ENCOURAGED TODAY IN YOUR WALK! God’s truth applies everywhere, even in Mayberry!