Life Is A Journey
By Grant Phillips
When you’re young you normally don’t think much about the future, but before you know it, it’s there.
Little children live in the moment. Their greatest concern is what they’re doing at the moment they are in. There is one date on the calendar that will get them looking toward the future however, and that is December 25th, Christmas day. The closer that special day gets, the greater their anticipation. When it arrives, they settle down for that one moment again.
Teenagers are another breed altogether. Their hormones are kicking in, and they start looking outside the moment. The opposite sex (at least I pray it’s the ‘opposite’ sex) starts looking pretty good. Dates with these interesting parties are planned and eagerly anticipated. Driving a car becomes another interesting part of those years, but to contemplate way out there in the future, hmmm, not thinking much about that just yet.
Then come the college years, young adulthood and starting a family. Here are the beginnings of opening the mind to the pathway of life. Ah! There is something besides the “here and now.” Where am I going in life?
All of us are on a journey in our respective lives. We can crash and burn, so to speak, or we can look back and say, “Thanks Lord, how would I have made it without you?”
What we make of this journey is pretty much up to us. I’m referring specifically to the decisions we make, especially the one concerning our faith or lack thereof in Jesus Christ. For Christians, we can rest assured that even from our bad decisions, and there will be many, the grace of God is there for us.
Speaking to Christians, the life we live now will determine our service with the Lord during the Millennium and throughout eternity. In other words, we are preparing now for what we do then.
The younger you are (earthly age) as a Christian, the more time and opportunity you have to make your life count for Christ. Conversely, if old age has crept up on you, time is running out, but it’s never too late to be fully committed to your Savior and Lord. At this point, let us take a very brief look at three of God’s followers from the Bible.
God called Abraham out to leave his homeland of Ur and go to a land chosen by God for him, his family and his progeny. Abraham was a man of deep faith and was even called a “friend of God.”
“And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”
Even so Abraham made one colossal blunder. Her name was Hagar. The world is still reeling from the ramifications of that wrong decision.
David served the Lord God from his youth, and we relive his deep faith in God every time we read of his going up against Goliath, the Philistine. Everyone, including Saul, was scared to death of Goliath, but David was a man after God’s own heart.
“And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” (Acts 13:22)
The one thing we normally remember about David though is his affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband.
What do we instantly remember about Peter? The first thing that comes to mind is his denial of Jesus, exactly as Jesus foretold. But have you ever read Acts chapters three through five? What a transformation! This isn’t the same man after the cross as before the cross.
All three of these men made wrong decisions I’m sure they would have liked to change. Sometimes our decisions effect the short-term future and sometimes they are long-range, going on for centuries, as Abraham’s. The important thing to remember is that despite their failings, and ours, God is always in charge, and will bless those who get back up and obediently follow Him.
If you’re a young person you have a long life ahead of you to glorify the Lord in the way you live for Him. If you’re much older, don’t look back, but serve Him with deep devotion in the time you have remaining.
For the elderly especially, many have come to Christ in their later years and become a Christian. Many Christians have finally gotten the fire going in their soul and become a devoted servant of the Lord later in life. We can’t change the fact of, “If I had just made the right decisions when I was young, I would have so much more to show for my Christian life.” Forget the past, or you’ll just keep making the wrong decisions. Deal with the present.
I mentioned earlier that how we live our Christian life on earth will determine our service for Him during the Millennium and throughout all eternity. That should encourage us to take advantage of the here-and-now by making decisions based upon the leadership of God’s Spirit and not our own desires.
Matthew 25:14-30 is the Parable of the Talents. Faithfulness is what God expects from each of us as Christians. All who are His will be faithful to some degree, but the one who has nothing to show for what he claims to have is a hypocrite, and will be cast into outer darkness. His journey through life is a total failure.
The lesson to learn from Abraham, David and Peter is that even though they made some pretty bad decisions, they didn’t dwell on them. They continued going forward with the Lord God. Let us aim for the right decisions by listening to God as we travel our journey, but if we do make a bad decision let us not stop and quit. Let’s move on and run the race.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24)