There is folklore that a man named Robert Johnson, a so-so blues guitarist wannabe went to *The Crossroads* (a desolate intersection of two country roads outside of Memphis, Tennessee), and sold his soul to the devil. He returned from *The Crossroads* being the greatest blues guitarist ever. So the story goes....
The story is a metaphor...and a good one. How many times a day, a week, a month or a year do we find ourselves at a crossroad with God? How many times are we faced with choices that require us to resolve our ego, and apply a heavy dose of humility? How often do we make the right choice? How often do we read one thing in the bible, yet apply the scripture as it is most comfortable to our flesh?
Okay, I'm not trying to beat anyone up scripturally, so I'll admit; I do it all the time. Most of the time, I have a conscience about it, and I try harder to crucify my flesh after repentance. Yes, I know that repentance means to *turn away from* but I suspect our flesh has a worldly compass attached to it and if we don't stay on spiritual *guard*, we easily fall back into old patterns.
Sometimes, we drag ourselves to the crossroads by getting entirely too hung up on issues that divide the Body of Christ. You know; peripheral issues better served in small portions by the ultimate chef: The Holy Spirit. Worse, sometimes we play the role ourselves and dole out heaping portions of what we deem appropriate spiritual food for others. We latch on to something that may be incredibly meaningful for us- and force-feed it to everyone withing spoons distance.
Again, I admit- I'm guilty. Been there-done that and got the t-shirt to prove it. :-) But as I learn to submit my will to Gods, I realize this isn't a lesson that is learned once and problem solved. It's a lesson that is learned daily, and as we learn and apply this, we *silently* become a more mature child of Christ. We gradually, as we choose Gods way over our own, become the image of Christ to others. Sometimes, it's falling down in front of others, yet persevering, that is the example that speaks to others. It's our willingness to admit we have an ego, a certain vanity, or a strong need to speak our opinion over others, rather than pray for them that marks our choice of direction: My Way or Gods Way?
As we enter 2011, may we all make choices that reflect our choice of direction. Sitting in traffic, pray for the person your flesh would call *an idiot*, because they need your prayer, not your opinion. As you stand 6 people deep in a grocery line, keep a happy countenance on your face, and use this time to reflect the patience of God... would you want Him to be as impatient with you as you are the checker? And as you encounter people with different spiritual convictions, don't let the differences separate you. Embrace them as friends, and trust The Holy Spirit is alive and well. We do not need to *agree* on every last detail, only the direction and path that keeps us stepping heavenward. Choose your direction and go forward in faith.
Blessings for a happy and healthy 2011.