Passing Space

October 7, 2007
by Rod Marshall

1 John 2:15-17 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions — is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (ESV)

For our summer holiday, my wife and I spent some time in the Waternish Peninsula, on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. The roads were single track, with passing spaces at regular intervals.

Every passing space has a post aside the road with a diamond sign on top of it. Unsurprisingly enough, these signs declare, "Passing Space". This way, anyone can see from a distance, and in the gloom, where there is enough extra width to pull off the main track and allow someone to pass by — that is to say, to pass — without getting off-track, sinking into the deep ditches or the peat, or smashing the car onto a hidden rock or two, of which there are plenty. As an added hazard, the ubiquitous smattering of sheep sit anywhere they feel warm, dry, and comfortable. They can be in groups in the middle of the road around a corner, or in these passing spaces.

One day, Caroline and I went off exploring. On the way, I noticed a passing space sign that was different from all the others. Some wag had skilfully removed the letters p, a, s and g from the sign. This particular sign now read "sin Space". Maybe they knew something I did not, or possibly it was someone with too much time and idle hands.

Anyway, it provoked the thought that dawdling on our journey overlong in stopping places, for reasons other than to help others, is not good. There is a danger in dawdling in a place too long, when it has become a distraction from the imperative to "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33 NIV).

Maybe the sign was not so daft after all. Yes, it is right to stop sometimes. However, let us heed the voice of our Master to keep on track as He calls us to keep on keeping on.

Prayer: Lord, we are Your sheep, and we ask in the name of Jesus, for Your forgiveness for when we have dawdled or cast our gaze elsewhere and, distracted by the warmth or discomforts, we have gone astray. Once more, guide and encourage our footsteps along the narrow road so that we will be no longer side-tracked by life's little quirks. Amen.

About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickmarshall@yahoo.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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