THE CROSSING GUARD

Vol. 7, No. 34 – August 28, 2022

Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. –James 1:22-24

What is it like to stand as a crossing guard for little rug rats—on a corner, with signs that dare idiots to move in the safety zone of children? When I was in the fifth grade, I was selected for the safety patrol and stood at my assigned corner to dare people to violate the law. I had protection on my mind and courage on my brow.

There is a friend of mine that is retired. Well, not really retired. Where in the Scriptures do you find that word—retirement? It is not there. It has never belonged there. If it had belonged, God would have seen to it that it was included.

I began to know this man, my friend, long years after my “safety patrol” gig. And long before he started his crossing guard gig. He looks older than I did when I started in the honorable vocation. The photo included in today’s blog is my friend, my brother in Christ. I did not include my pictures side by side, because they did not have color photos back when I was a crossing guard. And besides, he looks better than I do today. So there is that.

So, for five days a week, you will find him on the corner. He does not have to dress really warm, because of where he lives. They will have an annual snow day celebration when it comes. And rumors are that he has a great pair of insulated underwear—red. For when the snow might come.

Now, if you are a grandfather, you understand my friend’s heart. He cares for kids, just like you do. He took his training seriously. He wanted to serve, and continue to be active. Have an impact on a young life. Did you know that children still hug us when they know we care for their lives?

They hug when we introduce them to Jesus as well.

Those are tangible privileges of being a crossing guard. And another privilege is that the kidlets shout out their “hi’s” in church as they point out their crossing guard to their parents and friends. They do this quietly, of course. Not.

One thing young people are a reminder of is that God has makes each one important: beautiful in [their] time. We are reminded that God has given to the children of man a [busyness] with life (Ecclesiastes 3:10).

Have you ever had the privilege of leading a child to accept Christ? Adults are great. Children have amazing reactions. I wish I could go back and live as a child again. It is just a dream, but the world seemed different at that age.

So, my friend, my brother in Christ, gets special privileges even though classified as retired. They are all tied to the important things in life. Things that always need attention. There is something that engulfs us as we grow older. Everything seems to have weight, a heaviness. Nothing moves as well as it used to. Arms. Legs. Breath. The study lying on our desk. Time.

But the pull of children refreshes much of that. I have the privilege of having grandchildren. Thirteen of them. No great-grandchildren. Yet. The pull of kidlets is phenomenal. My friend experiences this. In my church, there are some children that struggle. One cannot function outside of his wheelchair. Yet he has an infectious smile, an expression of joy. His parents share him. They know we need his love and joy in our lives. What a special ministry God has given this boy. His parents are privileged with the joy in his life–it overflows and touches everyone who comes in contact.

Life Application

God has designed us so that we would be used in His plans. I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart; I will be found by you –Jeremiah 29:11-14.

What are the barriers you throw up in your life that prevent you from ministry? That pulls you up short. That challenges your faith. Challenges your commitment.

Maybe you need to hustle down to the schoolhouse before the next crossing guard job gets taken. There are kids at the corner that need to know Christ—personally.

Retirement is not in the Scriptures.

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