Construction barriers remind us to stay on right path

By Leonard Lauriault: Quay County Sun Columnist

While approaching the construction site between Tucumcari and Santa Rosa,
recently, I came upon a flashing sign I’d never seen before. It read
something like, “Caution – Moving Wall Barriers Next 8 Miles.” You may
have seen it too. My first thoughts were of signs like, “Deer Crossing
Next 8 Miles,” and “Watch for Falling Rocks Next 8 Miles.”

Could one of those big chunks of concrete really jump out into my path
like a deer? (It was the wee hours of the morning and my ability to read
wasn’t limited by my inability to comprehend. When my level of awareness
increased, I realized I should be watching for dashing deer rather than
careening concrete because those barriers really can’t move on their own.)

Later that day as I returned to Tucumcari, I was able to comprehend the
sign’s meaning because the construction crew was there removing the
concrete wall barriers.

God’s word is like concrete construction barriers. God’s plans and the
promises he’s made regarding blessings for obedience and punishment for
disobedience cannot change (Hebrews 6: 7-20; Matthew 24: 25; 1 Peter 1:
22-25; Deuteronomy 6: 1-12). Still, some people try to move the boundaries
of his word to suit their own desires, which he’ll allow (Hosea 5: 10;
Deuteronomy 27: 17, 18; 2 Peter 3: 16; 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12). They
speak the lying language of their father, saying that God won’t keep his
promises (John 8: 42-47; Genesis 2: 15-17; 3: 1-19).

Mankind believed that first lie. Now people are dying and Tucumcari is
among the weediest places I’ve ever been! God has kept some of his
promises to show that those as yet unfulfilled also will be kept at the
right time (Joshua 23: 14-16; 1 Corinthians 10: 1-13; Romans 5: 6; John
14: 1-3; Acts 17: 30, 31; 2 Peter 3: 3-15; Romans 3: 3, 4). Even today, he
give us reminders so we’ll look forward to the blessings to come (John 14:
26; 2 Peter 1: 12-15; 1 Corinthians 11: 26).

Another similarity between the concrete barriers and God’s word is their
effects on us. Anyone who’s been on the Interstate likely knows the
closed-in feeling of driving next to the barrier. It’s even worse if
there’s a vehicle in the lane next to you.

The Bible often makes us feel uncomfortable as well. God knows even our innermost thoughts so he’s designed the word to convict us of evil and encourage us in the good (1 Chronicles 28: 9, 10; Hebrews 4: 12, 13; 12: 5; 2 Thessalonians 2: 13-17).
Conviction for evil is why people try to change the Bible.

While we like our wide open spaces, consider that, unless a sign indicates
the lanes are narrowed, it’s likely they’re at least as wide as when the
barriers aren’t there. God gives us all the latitude we need as his
children.

If we stay within the guidelines, we’ll have more freedom of movement
because many other, heavier barriers are removed (James 1: 21-25; Hebrews
12: 1; Acts 15: 8-11; Matthew 11: 28-30).

Construction site barriers are there for our protection. The paint and
tire marks they often bear are reminders that when someone’s hit the
barrier, they stayed on their side rather than crossing over into oncoming
traffic. Most people survive bouncing off the barrier; but, if they cross
the line into oncoming traffic, they might not survive (Hebrews 6: 4-6).
We also may bear the marks of sin, but God has promised to forgive us so
we need not face the eternal consequences if we turn to him (Romans 3: 23;
6: 23; Acts 2: 38, 39; 1 John 1: 5-9; Acts 3: 19).

Removal of the concrete barriers at a road construction site usually
indicates that the long waited completion of the project is at hand or at
least significant progress has been made to that end. Even after the
barriers are removed, the lanes are defined and warning signs are posted
telling us if we’re going the wrong way. Having passed through the
construction site on my return trip, I knew that the next metropolis I
came to would be home. My trip, like the construction project, was nearly
over. I wouldn’t have gotten home had I not kept driving in the right
direction.

Jesus has removed the dividing wall between us and God (Isaiah 59: 1, 2;
Ephesians 1: 3-14; 2: 14-18). The complete fulfillment of God’s promises
is assured and nearer now than ever before (Romans 13: 11-14).
We’ll only reap the blessings if we maintain our faithfulness to him by
staying within his guidelines (Galatians 3: 26-4: 7; Revelation 2: 10; 3:
3-6; Hebrews 10: 35-39).

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the church of Christ.