Sometimes we can feel like life is going nowhere. It is like the realization, when someone is travelling, that he has passed this way before, and he wonders, “Am I just going in circles?” Once in a while I look at myself and lament how little I have moved or changed on the inside, for all my going. Every day around the world more than 8 million people fly somewhere and billions are spent in air travel. Unless we honestly ask ourselves “Where am I going?” and I mean internally, in a spiritual sense of going and growing, we are in danger of moving a lot but going nowhere. Jesus said, “I am the Way”, or in other words, in him we are truly going somewhere to Someone and to an eternal destiny.
The way of Jesus, the narrow road, is an inward journey of the soul, an exodus out of our weary burden of sin. His way is the second exodus that far eclipses the first. He frees us from cruel slavery of the task master that refuses to let us go. His way leads out through the testing of the desert, and into the paradise of the promised land. His cross is our Passover and his resurrection is our new life.
Leaving is half the battle. Just as Israel left Egypt but still longed for the pots of meat and bread, so it is hard to let go of this world and its temporal comforts. We despise the daily miraculous provision of heavenly bread, when we go to the world to fill our hunger. We also forget what cruel burdens accompany those pleasures. The apostle Peter, before he denied the Lord, was “warming himself” by the fire. In a similar way, when we seek to warm ourselves by the pleasures of this world rather than heavenly consolations God supplies, we are also easily tempted to say like Peter, “I don’t know him.”
The way of Jesus is a journey of faith. The pilgrims of the past all left not knowing where the path was leading.
“And he (Abraham) went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. Hebrews 11:9,10
These pilgrims chose the difficult path knowing that it leads somewhere beautiful. Like Moses who left Egypt, “He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” Hebrews 11:26
What we are being called to leave is small, in comparison to the eternal gains of knowing Jesus and the eternal joys at the end of the road. Leaving our earthly burden’s behind, we are able to climb to the highest places in God and to taste his eternal pleasures.
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. Prov. 4:18
This is not the popular road nor is it the easy path, and at times we may feel like we’ve taken a wrong turn. However, with the inner compass of the Spirit to guide us and the word of God as a flashlight on the path, we will make our way home.
“Your word, says the Psalmist, is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psa. 119:105