"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." - VoltairE

Hiking the trail to the promised land

Posted by Anne Witton on Thursday, February 2, 2023 Under: Reflections

The Christian life is a bit like hiking the trail to the promised land. It’s something we’re called to do together and I’ve had the privilege of sharing the hike with some precious friends over the years. It can be really tough, but we know the effort is getting us to where we want to be and there are some wonderful surprises along the way too.

Sadly, over the years, some friends have dropped out. They’ve found the hike too tough, forgotten that it will be worth it, and have stopped instead at an encampment where people are singing songs and playing games round the campfire, eating lovely food, laughing and swimming in the lake and sleeping underneath the stars. It looks absolutely idyllic and they decided to stay there, but I’m glad that others decided to press on with the hike with me. The walking is tough and the path is hard. It’s steep and sometimes there’s fog and you can’t see where you’re going. Other times there are amazing views and easy plateaus. Sometimes it’s really cold and you lose feeling in your limbs and it’s really lonely. Sometimes there are marshalls at the checkpoint giving you food and cheering you on, and you're so grateful for your companions who persevered, but you miss your friends who gave up.

It’s really hard not to want to be round that campfire, enjoying the singing and the companionship. But we know that it all turns very Lord of the Flies. The community disintegrates and it gets out of control. People start attacking each other and setting fire to things. The food runs out. The lake floods. The shelter is destroyed and people suffer exposure. Everybody’s lives are in danger and no one looks after each other. And I know that the path that I and my faithful friends are on, the path that is hard and rocky and beautiful and adventurous and astounding is leading to a campfire paradise and beautiful community that will be perfect and last forever. We’re pressing on for the prize, not some fake trinket.

 “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭7‬

In : Reflections 

Tags: discipleship perseverance 


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