Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Nearer, but Further Away

I've noticed something slightly odd on my travels recently. While you're getting nearer to a place, you're actually further away. Allow me to explain.

When you're leaving the village of Augher on the A4 heading east, there's a signpost which declares Belfast to be 56 miles away. Drive a mile or so closer to Belfast, and the next signpost declares Belfast to be 57 miles away! You're going in a Belfast direction, but you've still further to go.

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Sounds strange, doesn't it? It's all down to the recent roadworks, and the extension of the A4 dual carriageway from Dungannon to Ballygawley. The 56 miles to Belfast sign is from the pre-dual carriageway days, along the old A4 through Killeshil, Cabragh etc. The closer to Belfast but further away sign was installed when the new road was built - which doesn't follow the path of the old A4, but loops further south, slightly closer to Aughnacloy. In effect, Augher and Enniskillen are now further from Belfast, thanks to the course of the new road.

You think you're getting somewhere, only to find you're not as far as you thought you were. The believer's sanctfication is a bit like that. You've come to faith in Jesus, your sins are forgiven, you're free to love and serve the Lord, and you're ready to go places, thinking that you're going to be just like Jesus tomorrow.

The gift of the Holy Spirit, though, highlights our sinfulness, bringing things to light which must be dealt with, repented of, abandoned. We're making progress to be more like Jesus, but these can seem like setbacks. The closer we get to God, the more we're aware of our sinfulness.

This isn't a bad thing - it's the way it's meant to be. Just think of Isaiah, who was pottering along, then he had that vision of the Lord in his holiness, and Isaiah is ruined (Isaiah 6).

It might seem like you're further away, but you're going the right way. Keep going!

1 comment :

  1. I really like this picture! It can be confusing when we walk with God get we feel like we are either on a treadmill going nowhere or like we are going backwards.