Monday, September 10, 2007
Sidewalks are roads too...
Being in Taiwan again has been a neat experience so far, and I am confident that as faithful as God is it will continue to be. I have been gently reminded daily by Him that He doesn't want me to just "get through" this experience. He always wants us to learn something, for He is constantly and continually at work. Praise Him that He will continue and complete that work (Phil.1:6). It is He who calls us and is faithful, He will do it (1 Thess. 5:24). I am so glad that He is doing the work, because more and more I am seeing how much I cannot...I am a failure in and of myself. I just have to continually learn to be ok with that, because it is in my weakness and failures, that He shows Himself strong and amazingly brings glory to Himself out of that (Ps.62:11; 73:26; 1 Cor.1:26-31; 2 Cor.12:9-10)! I could go on about this very subject, but I'm sure it will be an ongoing theme throughout this year, in my life, and in these blogs (when I actually take the time to write them!).
Well to address the reason for the title of this blog, I need to preface it with why I thought of it...so bear with me...here goes:
I walk to school and back everyday. Pretty much my main mode of transportation anywhere has been my legs and feet (I really hope they will build up some muscle with all the walking I have to do here!). I pass the same little side shops, homes, schools, stoplights, construction sights, 7-11's, etc. everyday. I take the same sidewalks...everyday.
Now when you think of sidewalks, what comes to mind? Here are some of my thoughts:
1) Spacious (enough room for 2-4 people to walk side by side)
2) Purpose: a modern convenience for pedestrians (PEOPLE) to walk on the side (hence the name "side-walk'") out of the way of cars, motorcycles, and other motorized machinery that could kill people, as well as to avoid animal excrement that usually belongs in a patch or field of grass, not on concrete.
Well, I don't think this is the Taiwanese way of thinking, which is fine but it takes some getting used to. As I walk along the sidewalks of Taipei, Taiwan, I must constantly be aware of my surroundings. I am having to either look over my shoulder so I don't get hit my someone on their little moped deciding to take a detour because they don't want to wait for the stoplight or I have to look down near my feet so I don't step on dog poo; or the occasional person that won't move to the right or to the left out of your way when they see you coming down a sidewalk that is about as broad as my shoulders. To be honest, I am having to keep myself in check because of the frustration and annoyance I feel due to all of these little obstacles and inconveniences. I mean seriously, "how dare they get in my way!" or "the nerve they have to drive up behind me on a sidewalk while I am walking" (as if I own the place)- these are the selfish thoughts that run through my mind. Oh and not to mention the ridiculous, annoyed looks that I am sure run across my face as I let someone on their moped pass me...on a sidewalk!
So there is that part of the story. Now for the "spiritual application" that the Lord was bringing to mind as I walked home from work tonight. I hope I can explain what made sense in my head...
So often we just want to "arrive" at our final destination in our Christian walk. We want to just "be perfect" already in every way possible on this earthen floor without having to go through all the inconveniences, obstacles, trials, frustrations, and sufferings. We don't think we should have to deal with the annoying people that drive up behind us, they should just get out of our way so the real ministry can begin. We think we shouldn't have to watch out for dog poo on a sidewalk, we shouldn't have to "be careful" where we are walking.
We don't want to have to go on all these little side-walks in life because we want to just be on the MAIN STREET. These sidewalks make no sense to us most of the time...we question these side-walks...."God, why am I going through this right now?" "Why can't I get this right?" "Why me?" "Why now?" "Why do I struggle with the same thing(s) over and over?"...sometimes through these questions, I think we question and doubt His motives toward us.
Granted, He IS BIG enough to handle our tough questions, but we musn't get carried away by our doubts, may they carry us closer to HIM if anything. The purpose of questions is to lead us to truth...we must remember that He is THE TRUTH.
I think these sidewalks in our life are the means by which He teaches us a lot about ourselves, others, and Himself.
I don't know if any of this makes sense...I am after all writing this after a very long and tiring day.
I guess my whole point in all of this is that even through these dog-poo filled, moped driven, rough, sidewalks...God will get us to where HE wants us. He is the One, after all, that is faithful and completes what He starts. He is the One that leads us on the sidewalks to teach us a thing or two. He directs our paths (Prov.3:5-6)- we must acknowledge HIM in ALL of our ways...in all of our sidewalks.
Sidewalks are roads too...leading us closer to HIM...no matter what.
Praise HIM, for He is good!