My walks are rarely adventures – covering a square of seven or eight blocks, staying moving for at least thirty minutes. Until recently, nothing blocked my momentum.

signs on the barricade


Then the city started replacing gas lines. Digging up the alleys behind several streets has now complicated my daily constitutionals. Stretches of sidewalks are now closed, forcing me to reroute myself.

This follows the fact that the YMCA we just joined closed for a year to rebuild itself.

Keeping me fit has become more complicated and I am not good, coping well with complications. Walking out into traffic on busy mornings, or at twilight puts me at risk; having to find the facilities honoring our YMCA membership is one extra thing.

Grump! Grump! Grump!

I hate getting knocked out of comfy ruts. But I don’t carp at the workmen for messing up my walk. I slow down; I can see I have to choose a different way – and I look for ways I can make some adjustments.   I keep my mouth shut except to wave and smile. I look for safer paths when I can see it would not be safe for me to forge ahead and keep my pace up.

Rerouting myself is a simple enough plan for exercise, and it just might work living amongst broken folks as one who can find herself torn up and undergoing renovation.

Conflict can block me as surely as construction impedes my walks. So can anxiety – a persistent weed in an autumn garden. It helps to remember how I solve my walking obstacles.

jeremiah 6:16

Jeremiah 6:16

Life is filled with roadblocks – sometimes they are necessary to protect me, like the barriers put up by crews working on the gas lines. Often, however, barriers can stop me, redirect my course, but they are not personal – they just are what they are. It’s wise to get over my own annoyance at being “inconvenienced” — especially prudent when the new normal for America and the church, presents an obstacle: one being erected by folks declaring the God of Scripture isn’t believable, and His ordinances, commands, statutes, and principles are optional.

It’s not a new barrier – but the frequency of its appearances in formerly familiar places is unsettling.

Perhaps it was my generation’s fault – we wanted all barriers removed, including a grumpy God who always seemed to judge and find fault. We questioned authority, and now our kids’ generation is happy to be their own final authority.

But for some reason, I wish I could be a warning sign on a barricade; maybe it’s my age – maybe it’s a deep love of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

Grump! Grump! Grump?

Maybe –

Those on the way out always complain about those following  – my observation is  about this generation. Some of us have permitted the crazy thoughts that swirl around our brains like swallows to come on and make a nest. So, we acted on our impulses and now seek to excuse  what we flat out know is wrong.  (Romans 1:18-32 ) And we are taking the children along with us.

All the rush to sanction “rights” is like looking at a young anorexic woman, who is beholding her image in a mirror, and agreeing with her she is fat. Renaming acts and attitudes once described as personality disorders, and declaring them “rights” may be the government’s prerogative, but when the church acquiesces we blocks ourselves from sharing the deliverance that is possible through faith in God. (Sex and the City of Man)

I hope all the reconstruction of our gas lines  prevents  gas leaks and big explosions, and I pray this generation sees the handwriting on the wall, and repents.

When a man is at his wits’ end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way he can get in touch with Reality. ~Oswald Chambers



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