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IN THE CARPENTER’S WORKSHOP: Across the street

Peter the Apostle, who had his share of cares and worries to carry as he followed Jesus, finally learned the big lesson.  He learned that he no longer had to carry them.

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you,” he proclaims in a letter to you and me, written probably before 70 A.D.    As he reflected on his earlier impetuous and burden-carrying days as a young apostle of Jesus, he must have rejoiced in this major discovery which made his ministry full of power and undaunted love.

He stepped across the street spiritually, as God calls us all to do.  From one side where we carry the burdens, to the other side where God does.

Bruce Larson, in Believe and Belong, tells of how he helped people across that spiritual street of surrender to Christ.

“For many years I worked in New York City and counseled at my office any number of people who were wrestling with this yes-or-no decision. Often I would suggest they walk with me from my office down to the RCA Building on Fifth Avenue. In the entrance of that building is a gigantic statue of Atlas, a beautifully proportioned man who, with all his muscles straining, is holding the world upon his shoulders. There he is, the most powerfully built man in the world, and he can barely stand up under this burden. ‘Now that’s one way to live,’ I would point out to my companion, ‘trying to carry the world on your shoulders. But now come across the street with me.’ 

“On the other side of Fifth Avenue is Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and there behind the high altar is a little shrine of the boy Jesus, perhaps 8 or 9 years old, and with no effort he is holding the world in one hand. 

Which side of the street are you on, dear reader?  Do you try to carry the whole world, and everybody in it, on your shoulders?   

Or have you finally  realized that you cannot carry it, and handed it over to the One who created it?

Stepping across the street is sure to lower our blood pressure and decrease heart ailments.  While these are not the main reason for making that crossing, they are certainly good benefits.

The real reason for placing our trust in the Jesus who holds the world effortlessly in his is that he asks us to.  “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”

You might think you are in good hands with Allstate.   State Farm may be there like a good neighbor.  We may thank heaven for Seven Eleven.  Nationwide may be on your side.

But God is the one who handles every situation and takes care of our eternity.

Countless people worry every day because they have not crossed the street from Atlas to Jesus.  Atlas was a myth.  Jesus is not.

There have been many attempts to answer the question why did the chicken cross the road.  Here are a few attempts which can wander far afield from the original question.

Jerry Seinfeld: 

Why does anyone cross a road? I mean, why doesn’t anyone ever think to ask, “What the heck was this *chicken* doing walking around all over the place anyway?” 

Darwin: 

Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically dispositioned to cross roads. 

Grandpa: 

In my day, we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken had crossed the road, and that was good enough for us. 

The Bible: 

And God came down from the heavens, and He said unto the chicken, “Thou shalt cross the road.” And the chicken crossed the road, and there was much rejoicing. 

Dr. Seuss: 

Did the chicken cross the road?
Did he cross it with a toad?
Yes the chicken crossed the road,
but why it crossed, I’ve not been told!

Crossing the road of faith is no laughing matter.  We can confuse ourselves with God by trying to take charge of the world and hold it on our shoulders( a fruitless task and totally impossible), or let Jesus hold us effortlessly in the palm of his hand.

The classic answer to why the chicken crossed the road is “to get to the other side.”  Is that not our answer to the spiritual dilemma as well?

Jesus takes charge of all our worries and cares.  He also takes us to heaven, the “other side” which really matters most.

We may stand there today with the weight of the world on our shoulders, looking across the street to Jesus who shows us that we no longer need to do that.  The question is, can we walk across the street and place our hand firmly and forever in His.

Are you ready?