Life is a journey.
Some parts lie in pleasant valleys,
Some in fearful caves.
Others lead us to glorious heights,
Through dangerous swamps,
Or to the depths of the sea.
Each place we pass is full of beauty,
Of hardship, of growth.
Each is an opportunity to learn.
But the hardest part of each one
Is not what we encounter there.
It’s not our failures, trials, or tears.
The hardest part of all the journey is leaving.
In order to continue,
We must leave one place for the next.
Whether it was a place of triumph or defeat,
Of joy or despair,
Still, the time comes to leave.
And suddenly, we find this place is dear,
It’s familiar, so comfortable.
And we are reluctant to go.
But in leaving this,
I start toward that.
Each departure prepares for an arrival.
All of life is a journey,
Always coming from,
Each stop along the way
Has things to teach,
Joys or sorrows to share.
No one escapes the journey,
The hard and the easy,
The high and the low.
No one stops traveling.
The real question is –
Where are you going?
Okay, that’s not entirely true. We actually can stop our journey. We can love the place we’re in so much that we refuse to leave it. We can decide that the path to the next place looks too scary, too dangerous, too hard, and refuse to go on. We can refuse to learn, to grow, to become who Father God created us to be.
We have that choice. Always.
But our Father loves us, and wants the best for us, so He never stops trying to lead us on to the next leg of the journey. Holy Spirit continues whispering in our ears, encouraging us to pick up our knapsack, and hit the road again. And sometimes, in order to set us free of bondages we often don’t even see, He will cause the place we decided to stop in to become so uncomfortable that the dangers we fear ahead become less hurtful than where we are now.
Thank God for that! Which of us could stand to watch our child or other loved one become tangled in a net and hauled off to be eaten by cannibals? Even if they kept saying, “no, leave me alone! I like the food” – would you? Or would you do everything you could to cut them free, help them escape? Our Heavenly Father loves us more than we love our children, and desires our freedom more than we can imagine. (Something to think about if you’ve taken up residence somewhere, but it’s now getting uncomfortable to stay.)
The journey’s destination is determined by whether or not you are His child. Once you have accepted His salvation, are adopted in, nothing you do or don’t do will change your ‘final destination’ of eternal life. The only thing you will change is how far you get on the journey into knowing Him. In John 17:3, Jesus says that eternal life is knowing Father God and Jesus Christ. And following Him from place to place along the journey is how we learn to know Him more and better. It would be sad to get to heaven and only know Him well enough to recognize Him on the street.
So don’t be afraid of the road ahead. It might look dark and dreary, but somewhere at the end, He is waiting to welcome you with open arms of love. And He is walking by your side, showing you His heart and mind and self. And He is in you, drawing you to Himself, leading and guiding and teaching you.
As you continue your journey through this life, may Father God lead you in all ways. And may your trust in Him grow with each step you take, knowing that He is leading you to Himself, and life and peace and grace and goodness, not to destruction and death.
“Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.”
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”