sharper focus “Poles in the road”

Linda Manhardt, Major

You can tell when it’s election time in the Philippines. That’s when the signs come out and the roads get fixed. Manila is only about 36 miles from the training college. A trip that should take about 45 minutes takes between two to three hours. This is because of the traffic and road conditions.

Recently, in some sections, the narrow two-lane road has been widened and another lane added. However, it does little good to ease the congestion. Why? Because when the new lanes were added, instead of relocating the telephone poles, they simply paved around them. Consequently, there are now poles in the middle of the road all the way to Manila.

These poles slow traffic down as people try to move back into the only free lane. The effort and expense of widening the road is wasted, because the poles defeat the purpose. In addition, they cause irritation because of the drivers suddenly cutting into the moving lane as the poles interrupt the flow of traffic. They are also extremely hazardous. Can you imagine what would take place if you’re moving along and not paying attention and a pole suddenly appears in the lane? Disaster!

I understand why the poles were not moved. There are literally hundreds of wires extending in different directions on each pole. The complexity of trying to sort out all the wires would cause all sorts of cuts in different types of service.

Life is sometimes like that. On the road of our Christian journey, there may have been complicated mistakes that may seem better left untouched. Perhaps it seems better just to skirt around them and move on toward the goal. But the poles (mistakes) don’t just go away. Unless you deal with the issues, and reconcile the complicated “mess,” it is still like a pole in the road, waiting to slow you down or stop you short.

These unforgiven or unreconciled issues are a danger to the spiritual life of a growing Christian. The Holy Spirit will not dwell where sin remains in the heart of a believer. If you have been seeking sanctification (or the holiness experience), and it somehow eludes you, perhaps it is because of some undealt sin in your life or some issue, attitude, or habit that you have not placed on the altar. You feel defeated as a Christian and perhaps you don’t realize why.

Deal with the poles that block you on your spiritual journey. Don’t skirt around them and leave them untouched. If you do, they will continue to pop up in the form of guilt, self-doubt, fear and a negative self-image. Remove them completely. Surrender them to the One who can forgive, remove and cleanse.

As you seek and surrender, he can remove your sins completely and make your way clear to an intimate relationship with himself. This is the beginning of the journey to a victorious Christian life.

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