Crossing Guards

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Joshua 24:15

I have a confession to make. Sitting at a school crossing I envied the Crossing Guard as I noticed him sitting in the cool of the day under a lawn chair with a colorful umbrella over his head. He was enjoying reading a book while he waited for students to arrive at his post where then he would assist students in safely crossing the street. Reading the book of Joshua I get this picture of him in my mind that reminds me of the role a crossing guard plays in the lives of students making their way to school each day. The guards are positioned at intersections, cross roads you might say, to offer assistance to students on their journey from point A to point B. The crossing guards point students in the direction that is safe for passage and warn them of the dangers of not obeying the signs and seeking to cross the streets on their own. Joshua stood like a crossing guard at the bank of the Jordan River and reminded the children they were at a crossroad. They could walk by faith with God or they could turn back to life before God but they coudn't have it both ways. Joshua was seeking to encourage the children of Israel to stay in the Crosswalk as it were and go into the Promised Land.  

The role Joshua played in the lives of the children of Israel is likened to the role that the apostle Paul played in the life of the church in the New Testament. In the book of Colossians the apostle Paul writes, “of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily” (Colossians 1:25-29).

To a certain degree each of us is called of God to act like a crossing guard in the lives of others. To point people towards God, to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Just like there are many roads of travel before us each day, not all roads will ultimately lead us to our desired destination. To get where we need to go we must follow directions. No one can just go and end up where they needed to be. There is no such thing as random chance. You cant just give a monkey a type writer and think he or she is going to write a book because they hit the keys.

Jesus stood at the Crossroads of religion and life itself and made what has become the most divisive statement in human history when He declared boldly, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). If Jesus words are true, and I believe them to be, then all other roads or all ways a man might choose to worship God are dead end roads and they do not lead to heaven or to life. In fact, It’s worse than just taking the wrong road, it’s a destination that once arrived at has no escape as its end result is not just death but eternal death. Thats a hard pill for people to swallow who do not believe Jesus to be the only promised Savior of the world.

As ambassadors for Christ we (the church) are here to represent Jesus, to deliver the message He has given us to share with the world. God has called us to be missional in our travels, to deliberately place ourselves at the crossroads of life and to warn people of the various roads that lie ahead of them but are dead end roads.  We cant chose the paths others take but we can illuminate the paths of God and walk them ourselves as well as invite others to join us in our journey along the way. Yes, loved one, we are in many ways like a crossing guard. We stand our post pointing people to the Cross as the only safe way to cross from this life into glory. Remember, all other ways are dead ends!

“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14


Michael Osthimer





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