It’s a simple sign in the UK.
It is a big, unmistakable sign – in red, with bold white letters. It means you can’t go any further in your car, without, essentially, permission - such as you live or work beyond it. But, to most people, it is the end of your journey along that road, because you are not allowed to proceed any further.
Near our home is a beautiful location, right on the coast. Steven runs to it. Jo and I cycle to it, often with Peter. We stand, we look, we listen, we breathe. It’s idyllic.
But, it’s also just beyond two pairs of large, imposing, bright red warning signs. They exist because the road has been lost to the sea. Just before that, though, is a spot where you can park a car – or bike – and take in the view, the bees, the birds and the sights and sounds of God’s creation and walk down to the beach and beyond.
You need to know what is beyond those road closed signs for there is considerable danger as the road disappears suddenly beyond some concrete bollards, just in case you missed all the other warning sings!
It’s easy to shy away from ever mentioning Jesus Christ in your workplace. Your colleagues may well shout out His name in anger. But, it’s all too easy for us to never utter His name, for fear of offending anyone.
In certain contexts this is absolutely appropriate. If you’re working with vulnerable people then you need to be especially careful what you talk about, in case you unfairly influence the people you serve. But we should always be speaking of Jesus through our actions and attitude towards our work. And, sometimes, we will need to use words that are more direct too. We really do have the answer in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
A case was heard in the UK when someone was asked about their faith, so they shared their faith with the colleague who had asked them about the reason why they loved Jesus Christ. They were then taken through legal proceedings for having the audacity to talk about Jesus during the working day. It was actually during a lunch break, and they were proven to be quite entitled to speak of Jesus to a colleague who had literally just asked them about it!
But it can seem do daunting, can’t it, to know you have the answer to the stress and strain you see in your colleagues, and not feel free to talk about it.
Let’s not ever be afraid of mentioning Jesus as part of our normal conversation. Sure, if you throw Jesus at everybody, you’ll soon lose any right to talk to them at all. And it is really important for us to win the right to speak with people – we truly do need to exercise caution and restraint. But we also need to exercise wisdom and boldness. They all go hand in hand.
So, ask the Holy Spirit who you can share Jesus with? It might be simply by taking on some of their work, for free, to take some pressure from them. It may be listening far more to the worries they have and praying, and letting them know you’ve been doing so. It may be joining everyone down the pub after work, where you can definitely share your faith in a different way. It may be not criticising your managers along with everyone else and having w work ethic that serves that of the company you work for, rather than yourself.
Don’t ever be afraid of sharing Jesus. Because beyond the Road Closed signs of fear, is truly a beautiful place. And we all need Jesus in our lives – He is the only true source of peace and hope in this world.
Just a thought…
So, another Andy B, Minute Video. And this one, I want to say thank you to Alan from Devotional Treasures who gave me the idea for this one.
Now, most days of the week, I go for a cycle now. And it's great. We live near by the coast, so I can cycle to the sea. It's wonderful! I can look out at the sea. And it's great.
Now, because we're locals, we know how we can get really close to the sea and where there aren't lots of people. And what's really interesting is, as you're as you're cycling along, that this part that I love to cycle, you get to these big red signs Road Closed. And there's two of them. You cannot mistake them do not go any further. It's in red. It's a danger sign.
But, when you go past these two Road Closed signs, what you do is you go down a bit more of a road, about half a mile or so. Now, in fairness, the road gives way, it falls into the sea. It's not brilliant, but whatever. It's a road close, it's very clear. There's some big bollards at the end, you can't mistake the fact you can't go any further. But it's a really precious place!
Steven will run there. Jo, and, I will cycle there with Peter. And it's great. You can stand. You can look out to the sea, see all the big container ships as they're going off, wherever they're going. And it's a really idyllic place. There's wildflowers and butterflies and bees and beautiful birds. And it's a wonderful place. And it's a real place of beauty. It's a real treasure trove. But you have to go past these Road Closed signs, in red, to get there.
Now in our working lives, sometimes we can see these big, red, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Talk Any Further. And we want to talk to our colleagues about Jesus Christ. Past that red, closed road sign, is is beauty. Past that 'what if I talk to my colleagues and I lose my job?' But your colleagues are desperate to know about Jesus, to know about peace, to know about hope. Sometimes you may not want to use words to communicate that. But don't be put off by those Road Closed signs in big red signs, big white letters. It's quite scary!
But beyond that row, close sign is a real treasure trove of beauty. And beyond that fear in your workplace of ever talking about Jesus, is a real place of beauty.
So where is God asking you to ignore that Road Closed sign? A bit of local knowledge, perhaps, comes in, and you can keep going actually? Yeah, it's a road closed sign. But there's some real beauty beyond it.
Where is God asking you to look at that beauty beyond?
Just a thought.
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Written by Andy B