This is the time of the year when all the road crews are out. They are working on major connectors in our communities as well as the interstate. Many of the crews are working after the normal business hours of the day. Some of them work through the night. It is frustrating to many of us who have to sit in traffic for additional minutes or larger blocks of time to wait for the flagger to turn the ‘stop’ sign around to ‘slow’. I try to always wave at the flaggers because their job is important for our safety and the construction workers who are repairing and improving the roadways we drive on. Unfortunately, our roadways can’t be worked on twelve months a year like many other parts of our country. The work has to be done when the weather is somewhat compatible. So my encouragement is to be patient and as courteous as you can be. Be prepared. Listen to Christian Radio or bring along some CD’s. Reading material might also be helpful if you have to sit for a while and can still pay attention to what’s going on around you.
Having said all that, one of the things I have really appreciated about Idaho over the 20+ years I have lived here is the re-striping of our roadways at this time of the year. The paint has worn off and the traffic lanes are not clear or have disappeared completely. So the stripers come through and re-identify where we are to drive and be safe. The bright yellow and white lines are made with expensive reflective paint which can be seen in day and night time.
So, I have something for you to think about as you drive on our Idaho roadways in the coming months. The strips will guide you to know exactly where to go, where you can turn, where you need to be when there are four or five lanes at a stop light.
Perhaps there are times in our lives when we need to go through a re-striping exercise. The boundaries of where it is safe and clear for the direction we want to go are faded. Maybe they have disappeared completely. For our roadways they are worn away by the traffic, the snowplows and the harsh winter weather we have had. In our spiritual lives there may be many other factors. The boundaries in our lives may worn away by worldly and cultural influences. Right and wrong may not seem so clear when the attitude, actions, and the things we hear from the secular world are so different from the original lines or stripes God has marked so clearly for us.
There is also our sinful nature. We know Jesus as our Savior. We know that He loves and forgives us. We are in His grace. He has promised us that He loves us and will guide us every step of the way to the promised gift of eternal life with Him. However, we still have a sinful nature in us. That means that every day there will be an on-going battle inside of us to make right or wrong choices. If someone treats us in an unfair or unjust way we want to retaliate. It’s easy for us to return evil for evil instead of living and responding as Jesus would. Finally, there is Satan, himself. His sole purpose is to draw us away from God. That was his design with Adam and Eve. He was successful with them, but he has been defeated by Jesus. Through His death and resurrection Jesus has crushed the power of Satan.
So how do we restripe in our lives? That’s a great question! The Apostle Paul gives some very specific guidance in Ephesians 6:10-20. I suggest you review it again. I won’t repeat all of his words here, but the clear lines or stripes for our lives are in God’s Word. That’s where we need to be. We need to communicate with God in prayer when we are in doubt or under attack and ask for His direction. We need to trust in the power of the Holy Spirit. We can’t defeat the erasing power of the culture, our sinful nature, and Satan’s design by ourselves. We also need to be connected with other followers of Jesus who can encourage and support us. Are you in need of a re-striping? I am and I realize it needs to happen more frequently than Spring.
May God be your Re-striper,