I went for an evening run tonight…about three miles. At the beginning of my run, as the sun was setting behind the mountains in which my neighborhood is encapsulated, I was running along a suburbian sidewalk, houses passing by one by one. There were few cars on the road, as most people were already home from work. I turned the corner onto a different street, and noticed that something was blocking my way.

It was a trash can that someone had forgotten to put back inside from when the trash truck came. Written on the side of the dumpster, in bold white letters were the words “DO NOT BLOCK.” Now, I know that it was talking about parking cars in front of it, but an interested thought occured to me. This dumpster, which so boldly proclaimed its message of “DO NOT BLOCK” was obviously blocking my way. I stepped of the sidewalk and ran around it, but the irony of the situation stuck.

Sometimes I wonder if we too much assume that people are interpreting all the”DO NOT BLOCK’s” that Christians throw out, all the rules and regulations and requirements of what you have to do to be a Christian, the right way. They may be well intended, but I don’t think the automatic assumption of those who aren’t Christians is that the intention is meant for good. The assumption is something closer to: “who does he think he is?” “why does he think he can tell me what to do?” “what makes her any better than me?” “She doesn’t even live like that, so why is she telling me to?”

And sometimes I wonder if our over preoccupation with those “DO NOT BLOCK’S” blinds us to the fact that we ourselves are impeding the spiritual progress of those who would forcefully advance the cause of Christ.

“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” Matt. 23:2-4

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