Sick on the Scenic Route
by John UpChurch
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” Philippians 3:12
On my way home from North Carolina, I followed my impulse to jump on the Blue Ridge Parkway that meanders along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains. Late spring had hit, and the trees on that slithering byway had burst into color. And if you know me, you know I can’t resist a scenic detour in spring… or summer… or anytime I’m sure my car won’t get stuck for some reason.
If you’ve ever had the chance to sling along the Blue Ridge, you’ll find it hard to keep your eyes on the road. Gasp-worthy valley vistas pretty much assault you wherever you turn with their seductive greens and purples and blues. The only problem with a wandering gaze, however, is that many of the turns on that road completely bend back on themselves. So, you’re constantly looking out in awe—and then whipping the car back on the road before you become part of that valley view.
In fact, those stomach-churning curves nearly got the better of me. Never before or since have I suffered from motion sickness while driving. But that road, with all its flipping and flopping, beat me up. By the time I finally escaped that tangled beast of a road, I was actually happy to see the interstate and all its rush-hour traffic (well, for the most part). At least those bumper-to-bumper shenanigans meant I’d be going straight.
For many of us, our pursuit of Christ swings us around in much the same way. We whip around curves that seem to take us the long way round, nearly bumble off the road because something shiny catches our eyes, and let the cares along the way nauseate us. It’s a circuitous route, this Christian life, and one that doesn’t move us from start to finish quickly.
But it’s a path paved by the One who made us His own.
Each bend, each switchback curve, brings us closer to the goal He made possible. His mountain climbing 2000 years ago means we can follow Him all the way, no matter how far away the goal may seem. We’re His, and He’s calling us home.
Intersecting Faith & Life: We belong to Christ. He made us His own by dying on a tree. That’s not some partial investment or a half-hearted venture; that’s some serious business. He paid our price in full.
He intends to lead you around the bends, past the vistas, through the gulches, by still waters, and, finally, home. He’ll calm you, guard you, and shield you. But what He won’t do is leave you stranded. (There are no guarantees against nausea, though.)
Harken, You who have ears to hear and learn! Mankind was spoken into being by the Living Word of God; as when all things came into Being. Of His own Spirit is Man, who thus became a Living Soul. Created to be the reflection of God in Image; His humanity expressed. And in His Likeness, His Character expressed in, and of Earth. And likewise, in His Incarnation, was both His Divine Human expressed in a Physical Body, and the Divine Likeness in His Character. You, Oh Man, are seeking for people, places, and things in relationship to how to adjust yourself to this God you so often ignore. Yet, the Divine Parent is not ever distant from Creation Itself. Nor from you. He became the Wounded One. Battered and beaten. God took it all for us! He became Man. He did not have to. However necessity dictated that HE WOULD. LOVE…. that which we will never fully comprehend in all its scope… DECIDED WE WERE WORTH ALL THE TROUBLE! Tears… both ours and God’s. Hurt… both ours and God’s. And WE BOTH WERE THERE TO SOLVE EVERYTHING. He, more so than us. Don’t you “see”? A universe so immense as this. One small planet called Earth. And yet all be chance or Fate that something or someone called “GOD” REALLY TRULY CARED! HE/WE cried. He/we bled. He/we died. He/we ROSE AGAIN! AND… HE IS NOT FINISHED YET!!! Animals don’t know, but sense this “Fall of Man”. He fell too on the way to a cross! Hallelujah and Amen.