Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Road Trip

I've been locked up in this crazy world. How far is Heaven? I'll just keep on praying, Lord and just keep on living. How far is Heaven? Lord can you tell me?(Henry, Jojo, and Ringo Garza. 2004)

With kids back in school and most summer vacations over, we are mostly left with souvenirs, pictures, stories and memories from the last few months. It seems that my family has been away more than we've been home this summer. I have been to Camp McCall, the beach, the mountains, the lake, and visiting family and friends.

Living in Edgefield for six years, I have realized that our town isn't really close to anything! Most of the places we have been, take anywhere from two to four hours. That's a lot of driving time. When you factor in my travels to Augusta, Aiken, Columbia, and Greenville for visits and meetings, I sometimes feel like I live in a vehicle.

Most people do things during a longer drive to pass the time. Some listen to music or talk radio, many listen to CDs, (I still have some great cassettes I listen to!) audio books, and still others like to chat on their cell phones. Kids who are riding will read, color, draw, play video games, or watch DVDs.

The age-old question from kids, and sometimes parents, is "Are we there yet?" Fortunately, there are ways to tell how much longer the trip will take. If you are on the interstate, there are mile markers. On more familiar rural roads, there are landmarks that help you estimate time and distance to the destination. If you have a GPS, it can be programmed to actually tell you what time you will arrive at your destination.

If you are traveling a long distance and do not have anything to guide you, it's easy to get discouraged and frustrated. It will seem that you will never get where you are going and you might even get lost or think you are. The reason is that when we are driving, we are only focused on the destination. The journey is simply a way to get there.

One of the problems we have in our Christian journey is that we apply the same logic to it. For the Christian, we know the destination is Heaven. That is our true home and final destination. However, we have no idea when we will get there, nor do we have any landmarks, mile markers, or GPS units to tell us our arrival time. Since we have no idea how far away from Heaven we really are, we get frustrated and weary from the journey. When this happens, we begin to do things to pass the time. We seek distractions and diversions from the grind of our travels, with entertainment and fun. Sometimes the distractions are not necessarily bad. There are certainly ways to have fun that are Godly. However, sometimes the distractions are not. These are poison and can cause us to not only get lost on our journey, but also make us lose the focus of our destination.

What should we deduce from this? Yes, God wants us to focus on our final destination, but He also intends for us to make the most of the journey. Our Christian walk, in this world, should be filled with working for Him. We should spend our time here growing closer to Jesus Christ, learning how to live a more Godly life, and showing others, who are lost, the way to Heaven.

While we cannot know how much longer our journey on Earth will take, we can have some guidance while we travel. God has given us His Word as a road-map, the Holy Spirit as a guide, and fellow Christians as encouragers. Therefore, make the most of your travels on this earth, and enjoy the trip!

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Isaiah 35:8-10)

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