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Grateful for the Journey

I am struck by this concept of journey.  

Our lives are not a singular journey birth to death but an accumulation of journeys. There is no by-pass … we have to go through.

 I think of physical journeys with varying speed limits, stoplights, highways, small towns, big cities. The journey experience entertains wide varieties of scenery, provokes conversation about the way. It can be interrupted with flat tires, hunger, thirst, lack of direction, heavy traffic and more.  

And so the journey we call life … why are we then surprised when it’s messy?

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea.

Exodus 13:17-18a

I’m reminded that when God rescued the Israelites out of Egypt, he did not lead them by a direct route. Instead he led them through a wilderness, and the Red Sea. And of course, when they saw the Sea and the great army chasing them, they cried out, “What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt?” But they were on the brink of seeing an amazing rescue mission by God … one that mirrors our own salvation! God did the impossible on their journey; He blinded the host of Egypt with a cloud and darkness, split the Red Sea, and all of Israel moved to safety on dry land!

Their journey was messy … and so is ours. We experience failures that cause fear, roadblocks that cause grumbling, detours where we throw up our hands believing we will never get to where we think we want to be.

I love this response later in the story of Israel …

The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness … you have not lacked anything.

Deuteronomy 2:7

They wandered for 40 years and lacked for nothing! Even their clothes and sandals didn’t wear out!

What if we used the story of their journey to help direct our own. What if instead of believing that the responsibility for everything rests with us, we seek instead His direction? And what if in the chaos we call life, we choose faith over fear? What if we exercise creativity in the chaos? What if we join ourselves to a faith community?

What if we could make the most of our journey!

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

~Hunter S. Thompson

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