Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Highways and By ways

Traveling back and forth to a ministry opportunity one summer the Lord showed me some things about my spiritual journey through this life. The commute I made was about 100 miles round trip to a little church out in the country. I had my directions and was constantly checking to make sure I was staying on the right road. As I became used to the way, I stop using the directions feeling confident that I could find my own way.

One morning I was listening to the radio, thinking about other things, when I realized that nothing seemed familiar. Had I made a wrong turn? Was I going the wrong way? You can imagine my relief when just ahead I saw a familiar landmark. Getting my bearings on where I was, I calmed down immediately and arrived safely to my destination.

I find many times I do the same thing in my spiritual journey. The Bible says that I as a Christian, am not a part of this world. I’m just sojourning (traveling) through it. Although the comparison isn’t used much any more, the Bible has been compared to a roadmap that can keep me headed in the right direction in life.

There are times when I take my mind off where I am going that I get confused, and just as in my driving-- my spiritual life has a panic attack! I can’t see anything that seems familiar to me! It’s then that God will send a piece of a scripture verse to me, or the verse of a song, that I have heard, or a brother in Christ to encourage me. My spiritual nerves calm down and I know that I am headed right.

Traveling that summer I began to think about the roadmap comparison more and more. There is one area that has a series of 4-way stops that you come upon suddenly after driving for miles without even a house to break the monotony. The highway department has gone in at one crossing and set up warnings. You will see the warnings painted in large letters that even glow in the dark. As I came up on the huge “STOP AHEAD” lettering stretched all the way across my lane I wondered how many times God had painted those same letters for me in my life and in my day dreaming way I went straight through them and into some major spiritual wreck! If I would only heed his warnings and listen to his assurances, how much better my life would be.

One afternoon coming home, I was praying for our church and the pastor that would be chosen to lead it, when I realized I had driven past my road. I had to find a bridge that I could turn around on and go back to my road. I had wasted my time and my gas by not paying attention.

In that incident the Lord showed me that as a Christian, I can be guilty of the same thing spiritually. I can get so involved with the ‘ministry’ that I can totally miss an opportunity to “minister”. That person I pass going into church who always sits alone or the girl at lunch that looks so tired, and sad as I take out my Christian book to read. How many times have I wasted my time and my energy being busy in the ministry, and yet missed the opportunity to minister?

Lord help me to be aware of those around me everyday as I travel this road for you!

No comments: