“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.” ~ Stephen Covey
As we continue our Advent journey, it might be time to ask the question, “Are we going in the right direction?” We may have decided to do certain practices each day or say certain prayers each day. However, are our eyes fixed firmly on the Lord?
It is only through Jesus that we are going to get to heaven. There is no way that we can do it on our own. Yet, there are many people who seem fixed on doing just that. They try to take control over everything in their lives and that includes their spiritual lives. It is ludicrous; but, true nonetheless.
The symbol for today on the Jesse Tree is a ladder. It represents the great vision that Jacob had. He saw a ladder reaching to the heights of heaven. He saw angels ascending and descending, taking reports of the earth to God. Jacob even encountered God in his vision. God affirmed the promise that He had made to Abraham and Isaac and assured Jacob that they would be blessed and that their descendants would be numerous.
The symbol of the ladder reminds us that Jesus is the ladder that gets us to heaven. However, that ladder needs to be planted firmly so that we do not deceive ourselves. Some people might think that they are on the ladder to heaven but, as Jesus indicated in a Gospel parable, they might be left shouting, “Lord, Lord!” only to be told by God, “I do not know you.”
We might think we are climbing the proper ladder; but, if we are using the name of Jesus for our own gain, our own benefit, we are not on the path. Our ladder needs to be leaning against the right wall. In this case, the wall is composed of the bricks of prayer, good works, self-sacrifice, and devotion, just to name a few.
If our ladder is leaning against the wall of greed, prosperity, success, or self-acclaim, we will get to the top only to find out that it took us nowhere.
FAITH ACTION: If you have misplaced your faith and trust, make sure to change what you are doing. Lean on God, not on yourself.