What's posted at that intersection?

Intersections - what is their purpose? Isn't it a place where we make a choice? We can continue to go in the direction we are going, or choose a different one, right? At an intersection, we have the opportunity for course adjustment. How many times do we come upon an intersection, oblivious to the markings there, just so focused on something else, totally missing something posted like "No turn on Red" or perhaps "One Way"? I have gone the wrong way down a one way street because I was more focused on finding the business I was looking for rather than looking at the markings of the intersections! If intersections are places where we make choices, I wonder if this is why God asks us to post his Word at the intersections of our lives?

Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life. (James 1:19)

Some pretty 'beefy' stuff in this passage today! Maybe it would behoove us to do more than take a cursory glance at the words and really focus with some intent on what God is saying here. Lead with your ears - follow with your tongue. How many of you get this the other way around? I speak first and listen last a whole lot sometimes! Instead, God wants me to remember to listen first - pay attention, get the meaning of what is happening, and then answer. When I lead with my mouth, anger isn't far behind! When I listen first, anger has a harder time getting a foothold because I am able to discern a little better what is 'behind' what is being said, done, or even thought. Yes, I can 'listen' to another's thoughts! You can, as well! It isn't a supernatural power - it is paying attention to their expressions, breathing, eyes, and even their posture. I am listening with my eyes and ears!

How does a garden grow? Isn't it because it is tended regularly? I have some garden areas that show the signs of a lack of tending. The soil isn't very pliable and the things growing there are a little less than 'beautiful' - all because the garden hasn't been 'tended' in a while. My heart can get a little bit 'untended' at times, too. It is as though it become a little less pliable and things that emerge from it when this happens are a little less than 'beautiful'! Listen to your heart - not with a stethoscope, but with specific attention paid to what it is you are thinking, feeling, and doing. What are your responses to the things around you? Your heart plays a great deal of importance in how you respond to those things. Learning to listen to your heart, paying close attention to how you are responding, is the first step toward learning to pay attention to the intersections in your life!

God's righteousness doesn't grow in garbage. It grows in fertile and prepared soil. A garden doesn't just contain one thing - it contains many things that lead to it being fruitful and prosperous in growth. Our hearts must be tended - they must respond to what is being said and done in our lives - the Spirit of God tending us with such care. Pay attention to the intersections you approach today - especially in relationships, responsibilities, and resources. What will you do at that intersection in your relationship? What will you choose to do with your responsibilities? What will you find when you explore your resources? You may be surprised to see what has been "posted" in your life today. Maybe it is time you and I both start listening more, talking less, and leaving no room for wrong responses in our lives. Just sayin!

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