Embrace The Journey
We are all on a journey. We are all on our way somewhere.
We are born. We don’t choose when or where we come into the world. We don’t choose our parents or the family we are born into. I believe that we are all born for a reason that each of us has a purpose to fulfill in this world. That no matter what problems and difficulties we face our reason and purpose is much larger. That God has not and will not abandon us; God is working in and through us to bring His glory into the world.
We grow, evolve some might say from birth through our years with our parents, school and other events. There are some universals, yet we are all different, face differing circumstances, and react in our own personal ways to them. Each person, event, reaction, response, and the consequences influences the person we eventually become. Each of our lives testifies to this as being true. We can choose to nurture good or evil in our souls. We can choose to respond to the love and grace of God found in Jesus Christ or we can ignore it and go our separate ways. We can choose to love and live in integrity or we can choose to act on our selfish impulses. We choose the way we will go every day.
Corrie Ten Boom writes, “Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”
Where we go we do not know.
Why we don’t always get what we think we want we don’t know.
Yet, our faith should tell us that all even the seemingly bad is for our good, for our blessing and the blessing of others.
Often, too often I wish I were done with school. That I had a good job as pastor or spiritual director of some community, a car of my own, my own place, and were in a mature loving relationship with a lady who loves me for me yet challenges me to be all I can. That I was shed of the extra poundage I carry around and was healthier than I am. There are certain things I want. I want to be happy. I want a circle of friends. I want this and that. I want that and this. I want it now, not later. Yet, the journey is the thing. The journey to get there, to get the very things I desire, the things I believe that are part of a happy, good life is as important, as transformative as having them.
There are times I believe that life has passed me by. That I will never experience the kind of life I want to live. Hopeless is how I feel in those instances. Hopeless? Really, is that what the Gospel, what Jesus teaches that there is no hope? No! Jesus says that there is hope that in God all things are possible. Isn’t that what the crucifixion and resurrection is all about? That in the darkest time that when all seems lost God pulls us through making new life possible, making better life possible, making the Kingdom a reality now and in the future.
Rob Bell says that Jesus invites us to die to our old, selfish, false self and to be reborn to a new and real self that Jesus calls us to death so that we may truly live and enter into eternal life.
I want the best possible life here and now, life to the full that extends from here into eternity. I want to follow Jesus, to love and serve others as Jesus calls us to do. I want to show people that being a Christian is not about shouting about sin and repentance, but about being in deep integrity and living an honest, loving, and Jesus shaped life here and now, knowing that God will handle eternity. The way I see and love my neighbor is the way I see and love God.
Frank Viola says that a beautiful illustration of spiritual growth is that every year that we grow in the Lord, Jesus Christ looms larger and greater in our eyes.
I believe we should embrace the journey. Bad things will happen; setbacks and tragedy are part of life. Living the gospel life is not about freeing ourselves of heartbreak and loss, but knowing that in the darkest times that God is with us and in our best times, we should reach out a hand to our brothers and sisters suffering. The gospel life is both personal and corporate, about us and others.
If our faith does not transform us into better, kinder, more loving, compassionate people than what good is it? If our faith doesn’t push us to reach out to others, what good is it?