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Why Stop?

August 15, 2011

As you enter the North Cascades National Park Visitor Center, you have to cross a one lane bridge. On each side of the bridge, there is a signal light – red, yellow, and green. The obvious implication is that you go on green, proceed with caution if it turns yellow, or stop on red.

 However, at one point in the cycle, the red light can be shining on your side of the bridge with no oncoming car in sight. The bridge is not long; one can see both ends of it. Why not just go for it as long as ‘the coast is clear’? The answer lies on the other end. The cars waiting to leave are parked just out of sight of those entering. At best, if one entered the bridge against the signal, someone would have to back up. At worst, access to the entire facility could be closed off with an accident on the bridge.

 The red light serves a purpose in keeping us safe from something we can’t even see. God has put red lights up for us – things we should not do. We are just as free to do them as a driver is to ignore this red light. However, God wants us to trust that His red lights are not to take away our fun, but to protect us from danger. Threats to our physical, relational, emotional, and spiritual health often lie beyond our sight. Unseen does not equate to unreal. God’s warnings are based on His wisdom. He knows things that are beyond our ability to perceive.

 I find it interesting that nearly everyone is willing to obey the signs placed by a stranger on a bridge, but virtually every one of us who have read the warnings in the Bible choose to do our own thing. We obey the signs because we have learned the ‘rules of the road’ and know they are for our own good. The more we learn the rules of the path less followed, the more we will know they also are for our own good. A loving parent guides and protects his/her children. Our Father knows best. What color are the lights on the path you are on?

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