“We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore. What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls ride over the river, we know not. Ah, well! we may conjecture many things.” ~ John Wesley Powell
When I saw the cartoon that I used in today’s Sunday bulletin, I was immediately taken back to many vacations of my youth. “Are we there yet?” was a phrase that rang out in our car almost as frequently as “he hit me” or “he’s looking at me”. I often remember those days and say a quick and quiet prayer for my parents who had to put up with us.
“Are we there yet?” Is a phrase that applies to our spiritual lives as well. We are on the way to the Kingdom. We have been told that since we were old enough to listen. We have been reminded that everything that we say or do will determine whether or not we get to heaven.
Knowing that, we can become quite anxious. “Are we there yet” can also mean “How much longer do I have to continue doing what I am doing?”
It is hard to be a Christian. It is hard because it calls us to be counter-cultural. We are challenged to live our lives against the whims and the values of the world. The world would have us believe that no one matters, that no one is important, that we are the only ones that matter. If that is the case, we can do anything or say anything we want as long as we get our way. If anyone gets hurt in the process, “too bad, so sad.”
A Christian, however? A Christian is called to see the needs of all people, to reach out to those in need, to seek forgiveness to those we have harmed, and to live in peace. A Christian is called to embrace the values of Christ which are radically different than the values of the world.
That is extremely hard work. It often brings about ridicule rather than praise from others. The world will do its best to keep us from clinging to Jesus. It will work as hard as it can to loosen our grip on the Lord and make us cling to its own warped set of values.
Stand firm. Be secure in the knowledge that, if you live your lives for Christ, He will bring you safely home at the end of your days.
Being a Christian is not easy. Being a Christian may involve hardship and peril. But, being a Christian is all we need.
FAITH ACTION: Live your faith proudly and boldly this day, confident in the knowledge that God is with you and that you will “get there” one day.