The Christian life should be a life on the road. It should be viewed as a long, exciting road trip. We are like “Christian” in John Bunyan’s classic allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress, who is “a man on an adventurous journey across rough terrain, over sunlit hills, and through dark valleys… From the City of Destruction to the Celestial city whose builder and maker is God.”
We are headed somewhere — at least we should be.
“Go ye therefore…” Those were the marching orders of our commanding officer, Jesus (Matt 28:19). There is no time for standing around staring at the sky (Acts 1:11). The Christian life we are invited to embrace begins when faith’s tread meets the asphalt of life’s rocky roads. Any faith worth having will find God at the busiest intersections and amidst life’s worst traffic jams.
When we hit the highway, we find no shortage of traffic—both in real life and the spiritual journey. Have you ever stood on an overpass and just watch the traffic flow for a while? I have. You can’t help but ask yourself, “Where are all these people going?”
When it comes to the spiritual life, we should be asking the same question. Which road am I on? Where is this path leading me? Where do I ultimately want to end up? Will this road get me there? If not, should I make a U-turn or try another route?
In real life we would think someone’s a fool or at least a bit strange if they spent all their days driving aimlessly along, racking up miles on their car for no particular reason. It’s seems like a waste of a good engine, not to mention precious time and gas money.
Yet, when it comes to spirituality, are we willing to draw the same conclusion? Many people we interact with daily are spiritually “lost”, driving aimlessly through life’s deserts, taking every convenient exit and trying every possible road that might lead them to ‘somewhere.’ But just where is ‘somewhere’? Many will never even bother to ask that question.
There is a charming scene in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Alice encounters the Cheshire-Cat and asks, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” The Cat answers, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Alice, not particularly concerned about her ultimate destination, responds, “I don’t much care where, so long as I get somewhere.”
Alice speaks for many spiritual wanderers of our day. They are not particularly concerned about where their journey will ultimately end, but are merely enjoying the adventures along the way. I’m reminded of the bumper sticker that reads: Not all who wander are lost. They may not be lost, but are they headed anywhere significant?
And the places many turn for direction end up being about as reliable as the talking cat! The Christian life, on the other hand, has a specific destination and offers us a map to get there.
How about you? Do you have a clear sense of direction in your life right now? Do you know where your faith is leading you? What’s the next stop on your spiritual adventure?