When I travel I tend to be a “eyes-straight-ahead-don’t-dally-keep-moving-just-get-there” kind of guy. As opposed to how I golf, my driving tendency is to go straight and get it done.
That leads to the recent 20 straight hour, 1313 mile trip from ‘here’ to ‘there.’
I have friends, however, who look for any and every chance to take the byway, to explore the scenic ‘long cut.’ They read every historical sign, can show you the exact spot where Sacajawea first learned how to say ‘canoe.’
They’ve stayed at quaint B&Bs that less than four other travelers know of. They have pictures on their cameras of places I can’t even dream of. Their experiences could fill volumes and often do.
So … what is the correct way to travel through life? Slow and meandering, thoughtful and inquisitive? Or organized ‘pedal to the metal’ taking the shortest distance between two points? Is there a spiritually proper way to travel?
Actually, in just a few passages we find support for both methods … yet not without some compromising on both.
The “High A” Apostle Paul (“ … forgetting what is behind and pressing forward …” Philippians 3:13,14) was also the one who interrupted an important trip to spend a few more precious hours with dear friends. (Acts 20)
Jesus was the epitome of a people person. He had all the time in the world to take with whoever wanted or needed him. But on one occasion, in a crowd who wanted him to stay a while with them, he said to his disciples, “We’ve got to go. There are others who need us.” (Mark 1:38)
So for any of us who wish to lobby about ‘our way’ to move through life, we must concede that indeed ‘our way’ is just ‘a way.’ The ‘only way’ that really matters to each of us, is how to connect with a God who’s reaching out to us. And that ‘one way’ is the Person of Jesus Christ.
Other than that, how you travel Interstates 15 and 90 from Apple Valley, California to Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho is up to you and the immediate circumstances in your life. A quick bullet trip may be what is called for, or you may need the rest Jesus instituted for his disciples when He told them to ‘get away for awhile.’ (Mark 6:31)
So let’s make a deal. I won’t sneer at you as you slow to exit the freeway to explore the unknown and relax a bit … if you don’t criticize me for barreling on past you on my way to my destination. There’s room for both of us on the highways of life.
“He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.
Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair,
and you will find the right way to go.”
Proverbs 2:8,9 New Living Translation