Texting and Walking
Rom. 9:30 What then are we to say? Gentiles, who did not strive for righteousness, have attained it, that is, righteousness through faith; 31 but Israel, who did strive for the righteousness that is based on the law, did not succeed in fulfilling that law. 32 Why not? Because they did not strive for it on the basis of faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written,
“See, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make people stumble, a rock that will make them fall,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
Paul’s concern for the Romans was that they would understand that salvation that comes through faith. This was a new way of looking at things, having faith in Jesus, the Messiah!
The Jews had been awaiting their Messiah for such a long time and along the way tried to live by the Law. Jesus came to be the fulfillment or completion of the law. However, they were so busy looking down at every detail of the law that they forgot to actually see the Messiah — and they tripped and fell over him. By maintaining their focus on the minute details of the Law they missed the main event and by missing the main event they failed to find their way to salvation.
Visions, old and new, of stumbling are filling my mind. There is the scene from the opening of the old Dick Van Dyke Show where he comes in and stumbles over the ottoman in his living room. The contemporary vision of stumbling is that of people walking and texting. This is a common sight these days whether on city streets or down the lengthy passageways of airports. People are looking down and not paying attention to where they are going and the next thing you know they stumble over something and usually trip — and are then a little embarrassed by what has just happened.
Jesus is the one who guides our path and it is through faith in him that we get our leading and direction in life. Our texting on the phone is not just a distraction from walking, it can very literally be a stumbling stone for us spiritually for it represents our connection to so many things other than God.
—We want to stay connected with our friends so we are busy texting them.
—We want to stay caught up on who posted what on Facebook
—We want to know who just favorited our tweet.
—We want to read the latest news update.
And eventually we have been so busy that we miss Jesus. More than likely he is right in front of us and we are stumbling over him, but in our preoccupation we stand back up and grab that “smart” phone and put our noses back into it and miss him anyway!
For the people of Rome to not stumble over the cornerstone they needed to wake up — open their eyes and see him for who he truly was. They needed to accept him as the fulfillment of the law — by faith. We need to put away the distractions of the world, open our eyes and pay attention to where we are going. Jesus will lead the way, and not a small screen in front of us. Let him be the true cornerstone of our lives, the living, breathing Messiah who is pointing the way in which we are to go. Put down that phone — stop texting and walking — and follow the One who has your best interest in mind.
Lord, please help me see you today. Amen.