This time of year the centerlines on the highway disappear under the snowpack. Even after the roads are plowed there is usually a skim of snow or ice covering the centerlines, making driving interesting because it is very hard to know if you are in your lane. Each summer the lines have to be repainted too, as they are faded and scuffed from traffic and difficult to see. Even though you think you know where the line used to be, there is no clear distinction between lanes, making driving hazardous.
We are living in a time when the lines between truth and fiction and between right and wrong have become so blurred that it is like driving on a highway with no clear centerlines. The absolute truths of God’s Word have been eroded and even erased in the minds of many and it has become like a free-for-all on the highways of life. Those who insist that we need the lines to follow are mocked and sometimes even punished for “staying in their lane.” To even suggest that there is absolute truth in the areas of marriage, and sanctity of life of the preborn, for example, is to be “intolerant” and “politically incorrect.” and even in need of counseling! What a crazy, mixed up world, where evil is now called good and good is called evil, where darkness is substituted for light and light for darkness (cf Isa. 5:20). When “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25 cf Isa. 5:21). In the past several decades in the United States, we have seen the “centerlines” of truth and morality either moved or eliminated and those of us who still want to “stay in our lanes” often find ourselves going against the flow of the traffic and subject to being fined if we don’t “move over.”
As we approach a New year, we need to renew our resolve to adhere to the truths of God’s Word, no matter what the “traffic” we are going up against. We need to dare to be like Daniel, who “made up his mind that he would not defile himself” (Dan. 1: 8) With a clear understanding of the “centerlines” he kept his resolve even though it meant facing the lions den (Dan. 6). Similarly, the three Hebrews—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—also faced possible death in the fiery furnace if they didn’t bow down and worship the golden image of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. But they too stood on their convictions and said, “…O king, we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Dan. 3:18).
Even Jesus was tempted by the devil to “move the centerlines” of His mission here on earth, but Jesus resisted by quoting the directives from God’s Word. He, in doing so, set the example for us to follow when we are tempted to follow the direction culture is going. Don’t compromise the truths of God’s Word to fit in and “go with the flow.” The Apostle Paul admonishes, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Ro. 12:2).
Maybe, as you begin this new year ahead, you need to “repaint the center lines” in your life. Maybe you have allowed the world to “squeeze you into its mold” (Ro. 12:2 in The Living Bible). Be willing to follow Christ and His Word this year, no matter what others are doing or saying. Stay true to the Lord. May our hearts say along with the old chorus: “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back. The cross before me, the world behind me. No turning back, no turning back. Though none go with me, still I will follow. No turning back, no turning back.”
A joyous New Year to you all,