A little over three weeks from now, I will be heading out, by car, to visit someone I haven’t seen for at least 45 years. I am hoping he will remember me; I think he will. I will take advantage of a GPS that I got several months ago. It was on sale, but so far has been very dependable. This will be the most extensive trip I will have made with the unit.
That GPS will direct me to a destination about 850 miles to the south east of where I live here in Illinois. I could plot on a map the trip “as the birds fly”, and that would give me the shortest route. But, we all know that a road trip of 850 miles does not follow the theoretical “as the birds fly” path. There will be times, maybe only minutes long in some cases, when a bridge across a river or a gorge may have me heading west rather than east. At another moment, a detour due to road conditions will have me head north for several miles rather than south. It is true that by the time I get to my destination, I will be south east from where I began in my home town. But to get there, I will have gone north, south, east, and west.
Every time I change directions on the trip, I will be doing two things. First, I will be rejecting the direction in which I was just going before turning the steering wheel, and secondly, I will be affirming the ultimate goal of the journey. In other words, some of what I was doing in the past, but not all of it, is held onto as I look to the future.
My little trip is an analogy of living Christianly in this space-time world. As I sometimes tell my students, life is a series of trade-offs. You give up some things. You get some things. What you give up may be what got you to where you wanted to be. What you get may be what will take you the rest of the way. You need a body that functions to get you to the prime of life. You need a body that will stop functioning so you can get to heaven. As I said, life is a series of trade-offs in the process of getting to God’s eternal place. Don’t leave home without the GPS. It knows the route better than we do. And, enjoy the trip.