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On the Road

by Tim O'Hearn

Hurtling into a cave of blackness at 75 miles per hour, with only light to see a short way ahead. Doesn't sound like a lot of fun; in fact it sounds downright dangerous. Well, maybe a little less dangerous because it was on I-40 in a mini-van, but scary at times, nonetheless. This was my experience recently, driving back to Albuquerque from Wichita. Headlights can seem pitifully inadequate, sometimes. You have to trust your headlights, your vision, and that the road will not turn unexpectedly.

That sounds a lot like our Christian journey. We are hurtling into the unknown at breakneck speed. We have to trust our headlights, our vision, and that the road will not turn.

That last one is easy. If we are on the "straight and narrow" we can trust the road. We may encounter obstacles, but we are promised that the road will not turn unexpectedly. Jesus said, "I am the path, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6) All four gospel writers made a point of mentioning that John came before Jesus to "make his paths straight." As long as we are following Jesus, and not steering on our own, our road will be straight.

We have to trust our headlights. Therein lies the problem. Some people think they are on the right road, but have changed roads because their lights went out. They tried to travel through life "by their own lights," as the old saying goes. Jesus warned against that. In his discussion of where our treasure should be, he said, "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matt 6:22-23) How many people travel using their own eyes! But we have a light that will not go out. Jesus came "To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Lk 1:79) John, the apostle, was particularly fond of reminding us that Jesus is our light. He says so at the start of his gospel (John 1:5), and at the end of his revelation (Rev 22:5). In one of his letters he even talks about the light on our road.

God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 Jn 1:5-7)

If we trust our Jesus headlight, we have fellowship with God. We can hurtle into the dark cave of our future knowing that we have God beside us to protect us.

Finally, we have to trust our vision. We have to trust our faith; to trust our trust. Many of us don't trust our faith as much as we should. We agree with the man who said to Jesus, "I believe. Help thou mine unbelief." (Mk 9:24) We want to trust God, but can't let go of our own control. Of course, that attitude has gotten people in trouble. "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright." (Ps 20:7-8) If we don't trust that we have enough faith, how can we increase it? Paul had the prescription. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Rom 10:17) To increase our faith, we have to spend time in God's word. Less time in the Word; less faith.

We may be hurtling into a black cave at 75 miles per hour, but we need not be afraid. We have faith and light, and the road will not turn. Unlike on I-40, we can sit back and relax. We will reach our destination safely.