Make Sure You Can Cross Safely
by Rev. Roxanne Cardenas, M.Div
I spent this week on vacation celebrating my 35th birthday. I decided that I wanted to be somewhere warm and far away.
Admittedly, it has been a stress filled year. Some of you may remember that I did not write an article for MCJ for several months; it was during that time that I was dealing with a major medical hiccup that left me septic and in intensive care for almost a week.
So if ever there was a birthday that caused me to be painfully aware of the value of life it was this one.
The support of my family, church and the prayers of the saints made a difficult time much easier. Yet I know that if the God of my salvation not stepped in, my undetected liver abscess could have ended my life.
Saints and friends…whatever you lean on in good times better be able to keep you from falling in bad times.
Jesus showed Himself as strong and as faithful as I tell you He is week after week. He showed that He, and He alone, is the Great Physician and He WILL make a way somehow!
So last week, off I went. Excited and filled with a renewed sense of appreciation for life and driven by a deeper sense of purpose and personal responsibility, I flew for hours and finally got to my destination: sunny Arizona.
I had planned to go see the sights and enjoy the skyline however all I wanted to do was check-in and go to sleep. Fearing that was the first sign that I was “officially old,” I planned to have an action-packed day the following day, which was my birthday.
The next day I began to tour the city. There was so much to see and do I began to strategize. Step one, buy some gym shoes before my feet disintegrate. Step two, try a buffet since I was too tired for dinner the night before, and lastly, see what the town had to offer.
As I walked down the street I saw so many things that caught my eye! From skydiving to cruising down the street in a Harley to taking a helicopter tour of the city, I contemplated participating in these adrenaline-surging, death-defying options, some of which were on my “35 things to do while I am 35” list.
Then after careful consideration and reflection of my year I decided that I better not give the enemy another opportunity to off me.
So I turned and headed back toward the mall where I could be adventurous on solid ground. Suddenly I was faced with my greatest challenge of my entire day: trying to cross the street.
The crosswalk was about four times as wide as the thin slice of white striped protection we have in Milwaukee. The street also seemed much, much longer. The light turns green and you step off the curb.
As soon as your foot hits the ground the red hand goes up and begins to give the countdown of doom. 40 seconds. That’s all I had to secure my safety.
One glance at the waiting traffic I knew that much like Chicago and New York, these drivers where going to blast off as soon as the light turned green, pedestrians or no pedestrians.
I became extremely focused on taking long strides and watching the red hand. There were swarms of people rushing beside me. Small children were being dragged by one hand so fast the adults barely seemed to notice that their tiny feet weren’t touching the ground.
The elderly were being lifted of their feet by their elbows by larger, well meaning adult children who understood the gravity of the red hand looming its bright LED-bulbed warning 3…2…1 I made it! So I stood for a moment and laughed at the thought that at 35 I was proud that I was able to successfully cross to the other side.
It made me think about life. We all have trials and temptations and things that look good to us but are not good for us, yet what matters most is that we are able cross from this life to the next in peace and confidence.
Our deaths don’t always come with a flashing countdown, sometimes they arrive when we least expect them but if we know that we are saved whenever that time comes, whether 34, 94 or 14, we will be with our Lord and Savior in a place of joy and perfect peace that never ends.
This week, don’t be so consumed by the flashing Christmas lights and sales signs that you fail to make preparation to get to the other side.
Are you saved? If you hesitated in your answer for even a moment, check the signs and ask God to help you cross safely.