James’s annual pilgrimage to New Zealand to teach in the South Pacific Bible College always makes me think about traveling. It’s something everyone does; it’s a healthy thing to experience. You pack-and realize that yes, you can actually survive out of the belongings of just one suitcase for a few days. You plan a route (or at the very least, a destination and a GPS), book accommodations, anticipate your trip, leave, and a thousand “are we there yet?”‘s later, you arrive!
Journey has been used as a spiritual metaphor since the days of Abraham. In his case, it was a literal journey when God called him to leave Ur to head towards a land which God would show him. For Moses, it was a journey to free the Hebrew slaves, and then again they journeyed on towards the promised land. A few detours and wilderness wanderings later-they finally arrived. While there is much to be enjoyed and gained from the journey, the destination is the motivating goal.
Some of our old hymns capture this sentiment best: Do you remember “My heavenly home is bright and fair, I feel like traveling on! No pain nor death can enter there, I feel like traveling on! ” What about “I am a poor wayfaring stranger while traveling thru this world of woe! Yet there’s no sickness, toil, nor danger in that bright world to which I go!” We sing “To Canaan’s Land I’m On My Way” and “We’re Marching to Zion” and proclaim over and over again that our lives have a destination.
When Jesus comforted his disciples, he said in John 14:1-4: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that g I go to prepare a place for you? […] And you know the way to where I am going.”
Thank God that we know where we’re headed. Thank God that we know Jesus, the Way! We live with packed bags and a goal in mind. By his grace, he’ll bring us home! Will you help someone find their way this week?