Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Considering east and west


March 18, 2020

When driving away from home, we generally travel a couple of car lengths east, then make a gentle U-turn westward. Recently as I was pulling away, I noticed two lines of information on my truck’s instrument panel. The first said, “492 MILES TO E,” and the second said, “E 211608 mi.”

As soon as I made the U-turn, the top line remained the same, but the second line changed to, “W 211608 mi.” So, I think I probably found the halfway point between “E” and “W” because I was headed west and should arrive at “E” in 492 miles.

Certainly by now you realize the “492 MILES TO E” meant my fuel supply should take me 492 miles before the tank is empty (I’d bet I don’t get that far). At least the “E” and “W” on the second line did stand for east and west as the direction being traveled.

My truck has 211608 miles on it, which means that since Earth’s equatorial circumference is 24,901 miles, I could’ve traveled around the world 8.5 times if a straight road was available all the way. If I’d ever done that, I never would’ve gotten to a place that said, “You’ve arrived at the westernmost point of the earth. You should stop now.” Similarly, if I traveled eastward, I never would’ve gotten to a place telling me it was the easternmost point of the earth. So, I could’ve reached “E” in my gas tank and refilled it many times and never come to a stopping point.

OK, what’s the biblical application of all this nonsense?

God says he moves our sins as far as the east is from the west when we’re forgiven (Psalm 103:11-12). He also says he forgets Israel’s sins, which now is Christians (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Romans 2:28-29; 9:6-8; Galatians 3:26-29; Colossians 2:9-12; Philippians 3:3; Acts 2:38-39). Christians must forgive and forget others’ sins because we were no better when Jesus accepted us (Matthew 6:9-15; Romans 7:15; 5:6-10). But we’re also never to forget our own sins and that we’ve been forgiven, which also is why Christians are to celebrate the Lord’s Supper each first day of the week — to remember Jesus’ sacrifice and that he’s coming back for us because we’re forgiven (1 Timothy 1:12-17; 2 Peter 1:3-11; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 11:23-32). We’re also to judge ourselves in light of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

Regarding how far the east is from the west and finding the midpoint: Since east and west are equally and infinitely distanced from each other and everything in between, each person always is at the midpoint between east and west being right where God wants us so we can find him (Acts 17:26-31). That’s what he wants, and he’s patient with us for the limited time being, giving us all the opportunity to come to him (2 Peter 3:8-9).

Have you allowed God to forgive your sins and remove them as far as the east is from the west?

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan who writes about faith for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at lmlaur@plateautel.net


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