“A man went ahead doing the best he could, but it always seemed there was more trouble lurking just around the bend in the road.” –Louis L’Amour (Hanging Woman Creek)
“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.” –1 Peter 2:11 (NKJV)
There was an old song that is never heard anymore. Postmodern folk think it is one of defeatism and it doesn’t bring joy and fun to life. The beginning of the first verse, “I am a poor wayfaring stranger traveling through this world below.” The first argument would be the word “poor.” The church today claims the riches, and look at the way they live. They act as if they are rich. However, don’t misunderstand, we have the riches of heaven when we get there; we have the hope of life eternal, but we should not want the riches of the earth. Being a pilgrim doesn’t mean to wander aimlessly, for we are looking for a city whose builder and maker is God.
Might as well look at the beginning of the second verse as well, “I know dark clouds will gather o’er me, I know my pathway is rough and steep.” A person who denies that also denies reality. I have always said the best thing for an idealist, or someone with their heads in the sky, is to give them a good dose of reality. When reality hits, when the pathway is rough and steep, do you still trust in Jesus? That is the key for the Christian who is not protected against adversity. Life still happens.
The rest of the song goes on to say that the pilgrim, wandering here below is traveling amid this world toward that place that is prepared for him. He is traveling toward that “bright land for which I’m bound.”
There are many people down here who are not pilgrims. They have not accepted the journey that is there, for they have chosen the wrong road. They remind me of the words from the old Sons of the Pioneer’s song,
“Cares of the past are behind,
Nowhere to go but I’ll find,
Just where the trail will wind,
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.”
I know tumbleweeds, I’m from Colorado. Those things roll across the plains, sometimes by the thousands. They go where the wind takes them, unless they are caught by a fence along the way. Now as a Christian we should definitely be putting the care of the past behind. The old life has gone away, there is a new life. Sure we don’t know what is along the trail, but we know that the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord.
However, let me throw in a little analogy. Perhaps it is stretching it some, but one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit is the wind. It is the wind that blows the tumbleweeds along. The difference is that when the “wind” of the Spirit blows us along, He know where His is blowing us. Perhaps we need to be more directed by the “wind of the Holy Spirit.
The year is half over! Sure hope you’ve been on the right trail and that your trust is in the Lord. Of course if you’ve a mind to, you can trust in the bureaucrats. They have all sorts of promises to take you to a “promised land” of their own.
“You generally learn the value of money from the lack of it.”
“There is a high cost to low living.”
“Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.”