Monday, July 6, 2009

The Avenue Called Grace

My life is a thoroughfare. It’s not a one-way street. As much as I desire that all who pass upon it steer towards the avenue called Grace, it’s a two-way street and those who traverse it do so with free will.

At the entrance, there stands an odd toll booth. The price of admission is free for all those who choose to travel upon its roadway. Some come through willingly with open hearts and minds. Others with caution, slowly inching their way and suspicious that there is no cost and of what may lie ahead of them. Still, others come with agendas of their own. Like a bulldozer with its blade lowered, they attempt to grind, rip and tear up the street’s surface in order that the way be made harder for others to pass. But, the roadway is lined with indestructible pavement. Those who come with the intent to destroy only temporarily disrupt the traffic’s flow.

At times, it appears the travelers are rushing wildly with no clear destination. They are not heedful of the warning signs that line its broad path. The traveler looks for short cuts in an attempt to diminish the congestion that often appears. He fixes his eyes straight ahead; impatience pushes him; arrogance drives him; pride compels him. He’s only passing through and thinks he is certain where he is going. He has no time to pause and reflect, no time to gaze upon the beauty that lies beyond the meanness of his existence. So he drives through and ignores, forgets, rejects the signs I have placed along the thoroughfare to point him to the avenue called Grace.

Along the thoroughfare of my life is an exit sign that is divinely placed. Long ago, the sign was carried there by pierced feet and fixed firmly in the ground by healing hands equally pierced. It is clearly marked. The elements of time have failed to erode or fade its brilliance. Nor have the designs and plans of men succeeded in its removal. Men have attempted to build upon it, or erect structures around it to block its view from the weary traveler. But the monument is embedded in solid rock and built from life-giving blood by the One Who placed it there. Standing against the testaments of time and man, the exit sign is eternal and it awaits those who journey toward it.

I am the toll gate keeper at the entrance to my thoroughfare. I have been entrusted with the duty of handing out the map that defines the way to the avenue of Grace. I am only able to greet and encourage those who are sent by my Master Who, if travelers are willing, will lead them the rest of the way. The map is clear and distinct in its markings. There are no side trips, no confusing twists and turns. The precision with which the journey is charted leaves no question in the minds of those steering towards it, for the hand that drew it also built the street.

There was a time when I was given my own map and made the journey down the narrow and winding streets of another gate keeper’s thoroughfare. But the way was made clear and the path broad and wide by the One who piloted me to the safety within the haven of the avenue of Grace. When others pass by me, I will not always know how they have fared. It is a certainty that roadblocks will loom ahead of them. Road signs reading lies and deceit will lure them towards what appear to be more appealing exits. Yet, if they choose to follow the map I have given them and allow the proffered hand of divine help to steer them, they will surely find their way.

My life is a thoroughfare. It’s not a one-way street. Many have come and gone. Many have become lost along the way. Some lose the map and must return to request another which is gladly given from the limitless supply. But there is hope in that they have chosen to drive through my toll booth and take the map that is offered them. They’ll know the exit when they see it. It is paved with gold and a gathering of other travelers joyfully await them on the avenue called Grace.

1 comment:

Mama Mimi (Dana) said...

I am so grateful that the Lord is the only one who can see into a person's heart. If I could I would not only be surprised by what I saw but probably horribly sad knowing that those who call themselves Christians and who I think are really don't know the Lord. How terrible that would be. It's good that once we witness to someone we have done our job and can only hope that the Word landed on fertile ground.