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NOVEMBER 2004
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PatienceA Way Out
By Darlene Hight

Two elements the traveler first captures in the big city are extra human architecture and furious rhythm.
- Frederico Garcia Lorea -

I love to travel and Iíve had an opportunity to do so over the years. I tend to be drawn to cities or ocean towns, whereas my husband, Mark, loves the country or mountainous areas. However, we make good travel partners. Usually, our travel includes a mix of locations that we both enjoy.

A few years back, we traveled to Australia. My husbandís sales job brought him there but I went along as a mere tourist. Upon arriving at the Sydney airport, Mark immediately took the lead. Airports are his natural habitat.

"Well," he said, "now all we have to do is find the way out."

Instantly, I spotted a sign that said simply, "Way Out". We had a good laugh over that one. In the States we tend to obscure the obvious. Aussies, on the other hand, are more direct, thus simplifying things immensely.

After setting foot in Sydney, I (as Frederico Garcia Lorca so eloquently put it) was swept into the furious rhythm of the city. I hit the streets walking in pace with city dwellers who were likely headed off to work. One would think that I knew where I was going, but I didnít have a clue or a plan. I did, however, have a little city map in my pocket in case I got into a bind.

Many times as Christians, "a bind" is exactly where we find ourselves, getting swept away into either the trappings of this world or carrying burdens that we were never intended to carry. Fortunately, we have a "Way Out".

Psalm 118:5 "In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free."

The Jewish Holiday, Rosh Hashanah is a celebration of Godís willingness to set us free. Rosh Hashanah means ĎNew Yearí. The festivities begin with the blowing of the shofar (trumpet), a sort of spiritual wake up call. It is a time to remember Godís mercy and ask for his forgiveness. In Israel many Jewish people visit the Biblical Zoo during this time. The Zoo is home to a myriad of animals, which were mentioned in the Bible. The Zooís purpose is to protect these endangered animals and preserve their history. Jewish people living in Israel see this zoo visit as a labyrinth of remembrance, a time to reflect on Godís promise to Noah and to all mankind.

Noahís story is the ultimate story of a clean slate! The newness that was presented to Noah and his family was unprecedented and overwhelming. Can you imagine the flood of emotions that washed over them as they stepped off the ark? Everything that they set their eyes on was void of life. However God, in his mercy, set the ark on the top of a mountain. The valleys portrayed a page out of the worst possible disaster report, and yet, the first thing that they did was to give an animal sacrifice to the Lord. They exhibited perfect submission. This obedience was a mammoth sized offering and it was rewarded with an equally colossal sign and covenant. From that time, the rainbow has been a banner of love to all who follow the Lord, a promise of a new beginning, a brilliant archway promising a "Way out" and the pledge of a "Good Yontif" Ė a good good day.

Prior to the coming of Jesus, animal sacrifice was necessary for forgiveness of sin. However, in Hebrews 10 we learn that the blood of animals is no longer needed. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice, when he offered himself as an unblemished, perfect, blood sacrifice for each of us. His death and resurrection three days later provided the way out of sin and the way into the presence of God. Now that truly is a good good day!

John 14:6, "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Darlene Hight is a writer who lives in Ohio with her husband, Mark. Together, they take up the daily challenge of walking in the light of Godís wisdom. Her heartís desire is to be a trailblazer, that those who follow will find the path to God a smooth one. She can be contacted at didget_01@yahoo.com.
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