Take the Next Right: Pedestrian Crossing

Kim CrabillBy Kim Crabill8 Minutes

As an author and writer, I have to tell you, I love words. And I love playing around with them and their meanings. When I came across today’s road sign, well, I just couldn’t help myself. I came up with my very own little tweak of sorts.

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Take the Next Right, the series that is literally taking the Scriptures to the streets and the streets to the Scripture, to the highways and the byways, all to see how God can strengthen our walk by using everyday road signs to guide our daily spiritual walk.

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So, today’s sign came after a pedestrian walked right in front of my car as she was leaving a restaurant. Thankfully, I was able to stop without incident, but oh my goodness did this gal get angry. It didn’t take a lip reader to know some of the words she was saying. Whoa, from this incident, I was reminded of today’s sign, slow pedestrians crossing. But as I said, I tweaked it just a bit. I couldn’t help myself, and I do believe it was with God’s permission. So, our sign today is slow cross pedestrians.

Did you get it? Rather than slowing down because pedestrians are crossing the street, maybe we need to slow down because the pedestrians can be cross. Cranky, angry, touchy, testy, you know what I’m talking about.

You know the typical pedestrian crossing road sign is to make sure that pedestrians are safe from the drivers. The laws are very rigid if anybody hits a pedestrian, it’s big trouble, as it should be. After all, the driver is already protected by that big metal machine, but the pedestrian is vulnerable.

God has handed down wisdom to us though that protects all parties involved, the drivers and the pedestrians. He knows we won’t naturally respond well to cross people, but His principles, when practiced often enough, will soon become more natural to us. Part of what it means to grow in Christ is to get to a place where living by His principles become more and more natural to us. For example, Romans 12:18 tells us, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

It sounds clear and simple, but there’s a lot to unpack there. It’s like when I would send one of my kids out and I’d say, “Okay, be nice to everybody.” Really implied in my words was the principle, “some people may not be nice to you, but you be nice anyway.” I just didn’t go the negative route.

This Scripture is doing something similar, I believe. It’s acknowledging that it’s not going to be possible to be at peace with everybody, because they may not respond well no matter how kind you are. But as long as it’s up to you, you should choose the high road when you encounter cross pedestrians.

Here are a few ways that God would have us deal with cross people who may cross our path. The first and greatest principle is right on the sign, slow down, and it’s simple, just pray. The second principle is to always take the initiative. When someone comes into your presence so angry they are ready to blow up, keep yourself in the driver’s seat. How can your presence make a difference?

The third principle is to empathize with the pedestrians. Put yourself in their shoes. What would you do? James tells us in James 3:17 that the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then it is peace-loving. It is also considered submissive. Remember the yield sign from a few days ago? Full of mercy and of good fruit, impartial, and sincere.

The fourth principle is to identify your part in the conflict. Ask yourself, what could be my part in all of this? Do I need to do something? Do I need to stop doing something? What is my part?

The fifth principle I want to give you is attack the problem, not the person. Zachariah 7:9 says, “Administer true justice, show mercy, and compassion to one another.”

And now, we reach the sixth principle, and of all the earlier principles, this is most important as the final one. These cross pedestrians are our ministry. Yes, in 2 Corinthians 5:18 we read that we have been given the ministry of reconciliation, which is to help restore relationships. I truly believe God says to us, “These cross pedestrians are not just where they are by chance. I have entrusted them to you because I know you are longing to be used and significant in the lives of others. So here, I am giving you someone who needs you to guide them toward reconciliation with themselves, with others, but most importantly with Me.”

I believe God is saying, “Let these cross pedestrians become part of your ministry for Me.”

Well, friends, thank you so much for joining me as we continue to look at how God can use everyday road signs to guide our daily spiritual lives. One final thought as we conclude today, I  know many ask, “What do I do when I can’t make peace?” I’m going to talk about that a little more next time, but I don’t want to leave you completely hanging today. Sometimes you just have to let that cross pedestrian cross the street and move on.

Remember, the Bible says to do as much as within you. You don’t need to become paralyzed by someone’s unwillingness to forgive or to be forgiven. Instead, we can keep asking God to teach us more about this ministry of reconciliation and to open our eyes to see the opportunities around us. Thank you so much for joining me today, and I pray God uses these words to strengthen your walk.

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