Wednesday, April 20, 2016
“What is life but God's daring invitation to a remarkable journey? The road of life is a long journey made of small steps, but you must take those steps.” ― Craig D. Lounsbrough
Yesterday, I was able to take fifteen steps unaided by a walker. Not without a little pain, but I walked unaided for a few little steps. Using my walker, I was able to fix myself lunch by warming up some leftover chili, putting it in a bowl, and getting the bowl to my chair in the living room. I had to stop and rest a couple of times, but that was the first time I had been able to fix my own food since last December. It wasn’t much, but it was significant to me—another step toward independence. As I was thinking on these things, I realized that becoming a Christian was a process too, like my recovery, not an instantaneous event, which has to begin with a small step toward God and then must continue with more steps toward a cleaner and more loving heart. The Christian life is a journey. The focus should be on the journey and not the destination. Journey is not a word that we fully understand in our western world. For us to journey is to travel on a bus, car or plane, we travel to get somewhere, the destination is what matters and how fast we can get there. It is not so with journeying with Jesus. Paul writing to the Corinthians says: “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which come from the Lord, who is the Spirit”. (2 Cor.3:17). Note the verb’s tense that he uses, present continuous, which indicates that he himself was still being transformed. To be transformed into the likeness of Jesus means to live in perfect harmony with the Father, with oneself and with those around us. That was God’s intention from the beginning. It does not come as a result of outside changes, but it is a revolution of character from the inside and starts with small steps, but always moving forward. You may stumble and stop, but if you get back up and continue on, nothing is lost. It is not an instantaneous process. We live in a culture geared towards quick results. In the words of Eugene H. Peterson, the Christian is both disciple and pilgrim. A disciple is a learner, but not in the intellectual sense, but more like an apprentice who works next to a craftsman. The Christian is also a pilgrim because his life is spent on a journey with and towards God. It is for us pilgrims, filling ourselves more and more with the joy and comfort that is God, to keep the journey going, not worrying about the destination or the time spent traveling. One day, I will walk again unaided. I know this, but I also know that I must take baby steps to get there. As long as I keep getting a little better, day by day, God will grant me what I need. But I must take those steps every day, as must you. Every journey is ten times more pleasant if we have fellow travelers who are enjoying the experience with us. As Jesus said to some who asked Him where He was going, He said, “Come and see.” Let’s do that, eh?