"California Crawling!"

Bill Butterfield

Probably not many of you have ever heard the term "California Crawling," but you have seen it happen many times! Let me explain. When a vehicle approaches a large red hexagonal sign with the letters "STOP" stenciled in white, many of those vehicles slow down to a "crawl," but go right on through the intersection. Now the sign does not say, "Slow down to a crawl," but "STOP." Why is it that so many seem to think that it is permissible to continue through the intersection without heeding the specific command? Maybe they think it was written for a different generation of people; or, maybe it was meant as a suggestion, not a command; or, maybe it was placed there for everyone else, but them. I don't know why folk ignore that bright red "STOP" sign, but they do!

My concern in this article is not traffic violations, but rather that same spirit finding its way into our lives. I mean the spirit of "crawling" through pertinent warnings given to us by God through His word. Let me give you a simple illustration. In Colossians 3:5 - l0a, the following is found. "Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. In which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man ..."

Within the context of the above passage, there are a number of "STOP" signs, right? "Put to death" in verse 5 would be a "STOP" sign, along with "rid yourselves" (verse 8) and "taken off your old self" in verse 9. My question is how many among us have turned these definitive statements into mere suggestions. For example, participating in sexual immorality has always been a sin, but today "cohabitation" is almost the norm in some circles. "Anger" is often explained as not being a "real" sin; therefore, it is permissible by some. Even if the results of anger are the danger, Paul says to "rid ourselves" of such. That sounds a lot like a "STOP" sign to me! What about "slander" and "filthy communication"? These are prefaced by a very clear "STOP" sign!

There are many areas of life where these signs are erected by God and should never be ignored by anyone! There are "STOP" signs when it comes to our worship that should be observed faithfully. There are such signs in our relationships with each other that, when ignored, cause much grief.

The next time you see someone "crawl" through a stop sign or a traffic light, use that experience as a time to remind yourself that we must not allow such practice to be a part of our spiritual walk. - 227 Merrimac Trail, Williamsburg, VA 23185. (757) 253-5662.


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