A passing place is there to allow two travellers going in opposite directions to pass. It is a road feature that enables cooperation. It is not there to be used as a lay-by or parking space – to do that would be selfish. In the story of Exodus we hear how a cleft in a rock is used as a passing place so that God in dazzling glory can pass by Moses – Exodus 33:21-23
Making room for others to pass, especially when there are obstructions, when people are going at different speeds, or when places are simply too crowded, makes it easier for everyone to move in the right direction.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:4-5
Sometimes our journey through life hits a brick wall. The way we wanted to go is closed before us. What bars our way ahead may be of our own making, it may be of someone else’s making or it may be a purely random event. Somehow we have to cope with disappointment and move on by a different route. If we can do so and still smile, so much the better.
I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
My great great aunt told me that marriages need two bears in them: bear and forebear. To forebear, to give someone else priority, to hold back can be a virtue that make life less competitive and more harmonious, less judgemental and more inclusive. And this sign is perhaps particularly encouraging by inviting us to ‘give way more’!
So then, let us stop judging one another. Instead, you should decide never to do anything that would make others stumble or fall into sin. Romans 14:13
“… yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22: 42b
Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6: 10
Some roads are uneven. The same is true of life. Sometimes we hit rocky patches where life becomes a bumpy ride.
In reality this road sign warns of speed bumps in at least two directions. These are not intended as obstacles but are designed to slow the traffic. Sometimes if people go to fast they risk injuring themselves and others.
And the LORD answered, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
It is not everyday that you will come across a boat crossing the road! But life is full of unexpected things. Certainly for the Israelites on their journey to the promised land came across many unexpected surprises, not least finding the Red Sea opening up before them so they could cross with dry feet. And for Elijah, having killed all Queen Jezebel’s prophets, fled to the wilderness truly expected to die there and must have been most surprised when ravens brought him a delivery of bread.
Indeed the whole of the world God is creating overflows with the unexpected.
There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan*, whom you formed to frolic there. Psalm 104:26
It is good to be reminded that we are not the only travellers on the road. Some may be moving faster than us, others slower. Either way it is always a good idea to keep an eye out for the wellbeing of others – and especially for wildlife as humankind’s behaviour is decimating the world’s biodiversity.
But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. Luke 10:33-34
If you want to learn, then go and ask the wild animals and the birds,the flowers and the fish.Any of them can tell you what the Lord has done. Every living creature is in the hands of God. Job 12:7-10
Floods can rise up as if out of nowhere. What seemed like a pleasant country lane can be transformed by raging torrent which it would be foolish to cross. One must either wait patiently for things to calm down or find an alternative route. Noah had to wait more than 200 days whilst the floodwater drained away! Genesis 8:3-12
Be patient and trust the LORD. Don’t let it bother you when all goes well for those who do sinful things. Psalm 37:7
Don’t be angry or furious. Anger can lead to sin. Psalm 37:7-8
Be patient, then, beloved, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer awaits the precious fruit of the soil—how patient he is for the fall and spring rains. James 5:7