Landmarks

July 8, 2013
by Margaret Zondo

Proverbs 22:28 – Do not remove the ancient landmark that your ancestors set up. (NRSV)

The huge baobab tree still stands strong beside the road to my grandmother's village. It has been an amazing landmark all these years. There are no road signs, traffic lights, or street names on the way to my village back in Africa. Instead, we rely on landmarks like trees, rocks, or streams for directions to our village. Over the years, some of these landmarks have disappeared or been transformed, while others have remained.

One cold winter afternoon, a friend of ours lost his way on a country highway and stopped to ask a store owner for directions. He was surprised to hear no mention of street names. Instead, the store owner gave directions using landmarks, and surprisingly, our friend did make it safely to his destination without any problems.

In life, we all use the landmarks of familiar objects, memories, and traditions to provide a sense of comfort. Landmarks provide us with peace of mind when they aid and guide us through life.

In ancient Biblical times, God's people used rocks as permanent reminders of their encounter and covenant with Him. Abraham built altars to honour God; Jacob set up his stone pillow at Bethel, "the house of God"; and Moses piled up rocks to remind people of God's deliverance at the Jordan River.

Our life is supposed to be a journey of discovery on God's road. The Bible contains landmarks that act as a framework for how followers of Jesus are to conduct themselves and persevere in the ways that are established and true.

The Bible serves as the map that shows us the directions, paths, and landmarks which God has pointed out to us. It contains the commands and promises of God that explain how to stay on the path of righteousness. It also has the good news of forgiveness that shows us how to find our way again if we become lost.

We need to acknowledge and observe the spiritual landmarks that God has given us. When we decide to disregard these landmarks, there can only be confusion and anxiety.

Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (NRSV)

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (NRSV)

2 Thessalonians 2:15 – So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter. (NRSV)

Prayer: Merciful Lord, grant us wisdom and grace to recognize the true landmarks that You have established for us. In a world full of confusion, information overload, and temptation, may we find comfort in Your Word. Thank You for Your sacrifice to save us, and by Your Holy Spirit, bring us back into the fold. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Margaret Zondo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Margaret.


    Thanks so much. Here in the middle of the night I’m going to the landmark of the word and Jesus.


    Margaret:
    I just read your devotional. I really liked and appreciated it.


    Margaret I am one of those people who say turn at the purple house or go left at the Dairy Queen!! You are right — God is the unchanging landmark.


    Dear Margaret,
    I really enjoy your story “Landmarks”.
    Thank you.


    Hello Margaret,
    Thanks so much for your devotion. I loved all the imagery and the incorporation of landmarks with the scripture references.
    Blessings on your work and your writing.


    Good Morning Margaret,
    This morning begins Vacation Bible School at our church. The first country we are “visiting” is Zimbabwe. During the “Discovery Time” the children will discuss baobab trees! Thank you for this devotional about landmarks.
    (Texas)


    Dear Margaret,
    Thanks so very much for your inspiring reflection. It is well written and timely. I am proud of you. In this moral confusion we find ourselves, the landmarks you identified should be held on to.
    Thanks for all your help.


    Thank you for writing the devotional today, Margaret.
    We do need to be reminded of where we have been with God’s help and where we have yet to go.
    I remember as a child on the prairie, a mailbox and windmill, etc, were landmarks leading to my uncle’s farm.
    It is good to know that GPS is dependable because the info comes from above, as our relationship info should.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for a very important reminder. My memories serve as landmarks many times. I even made a long line showing where I chose a different path on the road I was travelling. Each time I branched off there was a landmark indicating the reason why. Try it sometime. I based the idea on ‘the Road Less Taken’, and wondered how my life would have been different if I had just remained on the comfortable path that required no effort.
    Bless you this day.


    Oh Margaret,
    Your devotional really put us here, back in our home in Bulawayo. We loved the baobab trees and all the plants that required so little water. And the reminder of the landmarks really struck nerves with us today. It is our constant prayer that the dear Father would keep blessing Africa and its people. Your devotional just happened to coincide with one of those days when the call of Africa will not stop ringing in our ears.
    I was involved with the Sunday School outreach of my church for many years till I went to Canada.
    Thanks for your thoughts on landmarks which reminded us of what was still Northern Rhodesia back then. e.g. You’ll find the place when you see the bee hives and the rondavels.”
    Once again, thanks.
    Blessings.


    What a blessing to have these messages every morning. I am so blessed indeed.
    Keep on going strong.
    (S. Africa)

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