19th May

2020

CROSSING THE LINE #2

A favourite walk of mine takes me along a footpath that crosses the East Coast main railway line at one point.  In order to cross the line safely, you have to stop at the stile beside the line and use the courtesy phone to get permission to cross from the signalman a few miles up the line.  I’ve learnt some important lessons on these walks, such as…

Words are very important

The other day I was out for my walk and phoned the signalman as usual. Having established that there was only one person crossing and that I would take no more than 10-15 seconds to cross the line, he said: “You may cross the line. Proceed immediately.” I crossed as instructed and was half way across the next field – about 400 yards from the track – when a train thundered past in a blur! Now, if I had said to myself: “What exactly does immediately mean? After all it could mean different things to different people. It depends on your point of view. Immediately might just mean soon, at least in comparison with a long time, so I can just cross when I am ready. If it isn’t immediately to me what does it matter if it is immediately to you.” Now if I had taken this attitude then I’ll leave the consequences to your imagination and the front page of the local newspaper. Immediately means only one thing – do it right now! Words are very important and the correct meaning of words in their context is vital to our understanding of what God has said in the Bible.  King David, the writer of Psalm 12, understood this when he said: “The words of the Lord are flawless…” (Psalm 12:6, NIV).  His words are faultless, pure, and perfect.  God means what he says.  How well do we pay attention to such flawless words?