Sunday, 10 April 2011

"We still pick the turn-offs"

The Christian life is often described as a road, a path through life. Similarly, one hears of "the road to hell". A story frequently used to describe redemption is that a person is on the road to hell, and at any stage along that road, they can do a U-turn, choose God, and they will directly be on the road to heaven, to life.

Several years ago now, a friend of mine said that "we still pick the turn-offs". Apparently I had been having a discussion with a different friend about this scenario at the time, so noted this statement down. I just came across it this morning, and it still offers pause for thought.


The four-lane highway stretches off into the distance. Few people are on this side of the highway; in fact, there isn't another car in sight, either before or behind. The opposite direction, in contrast, is queued up beyond the horizon, with angry people gesticulating, honking horns and generally shouting abuse at one another.

If only there was a rest-stop soon, somewhere to get away of the stifling heat and glare of the road. Unsurprisingly, no sooner the thought, than there is a sign indicating a rest stop, two miles down the road. The relief in the cabin is immediate. A break is in sight.

We get to the exit, and the turn-off is taken. Anticipation climbs ever higher as desire is followed. But no. Signs to the rest-stop are absent; instead, a maze of roads, leading who knows where, becomes the order of the day. Spirits sink as we realise there never was a rest-stop.