Running To And Fro

December 29, 2014
by Joel Jongkind

Amos 8:12 – They shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but shall not find it. (NKJV)

I spent a total of over eight months living in a camp in the desert of the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman. This included the Christmas season and the change of the year from 1965 to 1966. There were about forty of us living in a camp, and we were working on the first oil pipeline ever built in that country.

One of the problems that we had was what to do on the many days off that we had. Not only did we observe all the Christian and western holidays, but also all the many local Muslim holy days. For a lot of us, these days off were tedious, because there was no place to go and not much to do. Many of us were bored and lonely, especially on days that to us were important to be with family and friends. New Year's Day was one of them.

A colleague decided that we should have a car rally on New Year's Day, an activity that would be interesting and take up a big part of the afternoon, and he asked me to help him lay it out. We took various signs out into the countryside and placed them in certain locations indicating where the driver and his companion should go. However, the signs were all to be read carefully. For instance, there was a sign that said, "Turn left at the three ginger ale cans hanging from a tree on the right hand side of the road." But in actual fact, there were three Pepsi cans in the first tree, and many turned left at that point and ended up lost because the three ginger ale cans were further down the road, and that is where they should have turned. All the signs were like that, and they were all meant to mislead the drivers. The result was that the men in the car rally were "running to and fro", trying to find their way, because they had misread the signs.

And isn't that the way it is in life so often? People are looking for things to make their life more enjoyable. Some are searching for peace in their hearts, but so many are misreading the signs. They are turning at the wrong time, and many are running to and fro, trying to find their way.

The Bible tells us to look to Jesus.

Matthew 11:28 – Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (NKJV)

Isaiah 55:6 – Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. (NKJV)

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, as we stand near the beginning of a new year, we pray that people will make a New Year's resolution to seek Your will in their lives, and that they will indeed find peace in their hearts through the words of Scripture. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Joel. Have a wonderful New Year.


    How very true. Jesus will never lead us in the wrong direction. He has a plan for our life. We also have a plan. God’s supremacy and sovereign should help us as we are his followers.


    I never heard that story before (or, quite possibly, heard it and have forgotten it) but I love it! And I like the connection you made between searching for the road with the correct pop cans, and searching for the right way, Jesus.


    Dear friend in Christ Joel,
    Thanks for reminding us that our dear Lord is always ready to welcome us, and all we have to do is to seek him.
    Thanks for your very inspirational readings for 2014, I enjoyed reading them and most importantly the messages I got from them was and always is blessing for me. Thank you. I look forward to continue in the new year.
    Wishing you and your family a Happy and blessed New Year 2015.


    Amen to your prayer and wishing you a blessed New 2015. May God inspire us to sharing his love with all that we come in contact with.


    They are turning at the wrong time, and many are running to and fro, trying to find their way.
    If people who did not know English well had been involved in this treck, this could have been a bad trick to them. But if it was just for English-speakers, it might have been a good lesson in reading their own language carefuly.
    Anway, I liked.
    Keep writing Biblical devotions.

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