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Crossing The Line

I was driving home the other day on a busy highway near where I live when I saw what looked like a rock or piece of debris on the road, but as I got closer I saw that it was moving. It was a small turtle, about 6 inches in diameter, crossing the highway. It had its neck stuck way out (literally and figuratively) and was "paddling along" the pavement at a near-perfect right angle to the flow of traffic. Being a firm believer in the principle of not killing anything that isn't trying to kill me, I veered slightly so that the turtle passed under the center of my car, without being hit by the wheels. As I drove on, I thought that there surely was little chance that turtle could have made it. Other drivers must have seen it in time and missed it as I did, but what of those who didn't? Or who didn't care if they ran over a small object on the road, regardless of what it was?

I then thought, well, maybe the turtle made it. Being rather curious by nature, I then tried to work out the odds in my head. I guessed that it would have taken the turtle a couple of minutes to cross the southbound traffic lane that it was in when I saw it, and then a couple more minutes to cross the adjacent northbound traffic lane - assuming that it kept up the steady pace that it was going and didn't, after perhaps somehow realizing the terrible danger that it was in from the roaring traffic that was just missing it by inches, retreating into its "safe place," its shell, which would doom it for sure. It was late afternoon, and "rush hour" traffic was heavy for that particular road - I estimated a car every 5 seconds on average, which comes to about 48 in 4 minutes. Could the turtle get missed nearly 50 times by cars traveling at 60 or 70 miles per hour? I had driven on for about 4 or 5 miles when my curiosity got the best of me. I had to know, did the little turtle make it? I turned around, and drove back.

Crossing The Line

The Crossing God's people throughout Bible History have made many dangerous crossings, of many sorts, but always with the same purpose - to get to a better place. Like the turtle, they may not have fully understood why they left the apparent safety of where they were and stuck their necks way out, and kept them stuck way out, without retreating to the false safety of their "shells" amidst the great sound and fury of the threats and dangers that opposed them. They were determined to get to a new life, even if they lost their old lives to get there.

The crossing of the Red Sea under the leadership of Moses:

"Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and The Lord [see Rock Of Ages] drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left." (Exodus 14:21-22 RSV)

The crossing of the Jordan River under the leadership of Joshua:

"when those who bore The Ark [see The Ark Of The Covenant, also Raiders Of The Lost Ark] had come to The Jordan, and the feet of the priests [see Levites] bearing The Ark were dipped in the brink of the water, the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest, the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap far off, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were wholly cut off; and the people passed over opposite Jericho. And while all Israel were passing over on dry ground, the priests who bore The Ark of the covenant of The Lord stood on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan" (Joshua 3:15-17 RSV)

The apostle Paul (see Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey) experienced great dangers in the physical crossings that he made for the purpose of the spiritual crossing that is to come for those who make it (see Resurrections):

"Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure." (2 Corinthians 11:25-27 RSV)

"Then Jesus told His disciples, "If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?" (Matthew 16:24-26 RSV)

Oh, and in case you're wondering about the turtle, when I got back to the place where I saw it, there was no road-mashed turtle there; the way was clear. The little turtle made it across to its "promised land."

Fact Finder: What did Jesus Christ mean by "the Way"?
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