CHURCH ON THE ROAD TO NOWHERE

Nearly 75 years after I first began to hear them I still find that sayings of my Mother come easily to my mind.  Often without warning or a deliberate effort on my part to call them to consciousness.  One of them came to me when I noticed the new sign on our lane.  If it had been there before I had not noticed it.  But as I finally made the last turn on an early morning walk, it spoke in Mother’s voice.  But it did not say “Dead End”.  I heard her laughing voice to my boyhood threat to run away from home: “Strike a trot, Son.  The road is open at both ends.”

I smiled to myself as a response to her thought stuck me for the first time.  I think Mother would have approved my addition to her witty saying.  All roads are open at both ends – unless you live on a DEAD END street.

That led to my wandering mind to a church that both Dr. Greg Dixon and I were invited to speak in out in a central Washington town years ago.  When Dr. Dixon asked the pastor, “where does this road lead to?”  The road on which the church stood was near the eastern edge of town.

Nowhere,” came the pastor’s nonchalant reply. Greg laughed at the pastor’s answer, taking it as a joke.  When he realized the pastor was serious this evangelist from back east could hardly believe it. He obviously was not accustomed to our beautiful and big, wonderful and wide-open spaces in the West.  So the pastor added, “It just goes out into range land and plays out in the sage brush.”

 “Well, I declare!” he mused.  “I’ve seen churches that were set and settled, singing ‘Sitting on the Premises’ instead of ‘Standing on the Promises’.”  R. G. Lee used to decry liberal preachers and professors who “talked more and more, saying less and less, going nowhere, faster and faster and arrive out of breath with nothing to show for it…”

“But,” he added, “I sure would hate to be a part of a church on the Road to Nowhere”.  I think he was half teasing.  But I sure agree.  God deliver us from a Dead End Church on at road to nowhere!

And Lord, please deliver me from a dead end life on a road to nowhere!  Let the testimony of my life be that of the old hymn writer:

“I’m pressing on the upward way; new heights I’m gaining every day,

Still praying as I upward bound; Lord, plant my feet on higher ground!”

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