Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Jesus and John Wayne

I've spent this summer off from college trying to escape the fears and questions I have about my future. I've spent my time with nose in book, eyes glued to the TV, hoping for something that will satisfy or at least take my mind off my existential struggle. It has not succeeded, so I'm going to chart a new course in which I seek to figure out where I'm going for my tomorrow. I told myself prior to the start of the summer that I would spend some time to reflect on where I'm headed, and now I make good on that promise.

One place I know I'm headed for is home. The question is, What's my arrival and journey there going to look like? What's my road and where's my home? Well, my road home is the path less traveled. It's straight and narrow, and it's the only road there. Following Jesus Christ is my road home, and my home is not of this world. It's a heavenly home not made by hands that I'm looking for.

The truth is, though, that while I know where I'm going, I know the way there, and the company's the best, I'm not heading that way confidently and resolutely. Oh, I've heard that that place is an untamed and glorious frontier, that the road there is the greatest adventure of all, and that the guide is a wild rebel of a man who sticks closer than a brother and has all the power, wisdom, and beauty of the universe in his grasp, but I also know of the hardships along the way. I know there's going to be fierce opposition. There's a cunning and persistent enemy out there waiting to ambush us. We're definitely going to take some wounds and some losses. And there's going to be fatigue, hunger, thirst, and probably some loneliness along the way. This trip's definitely not going to be comfortable and convenient.

I'm not at all like the trail boss. He's not bothered at all by the trouble we'll encounter. He's wild, brave, strong, and wise, and he's well experienced with all the troubles of the journey. In fact, no one knows more about suffering and hardship than he does, so he's really tough. He knows our adversary well too. He knows all about his schemes and tactics, and he's already given him the beating of his life once and swears he'll do it again. He also knows that wild and beautiful country we're headed to. In fact, they say that's where he's from. He more than makes up for my weaknesses, and there's no one else I'd rather have by side in a fight. So what am I so afraid of? Why am I only taking steps forward tentatively? Why am I just aimlessly wandering that general direction at the back of the train instead of mounting up and riding at the front with the trail boss?

I've seen some of the other men and women on this journey who've taken the time to get to know him and be taught by him and have become like him. Why can't I be like them? I have to remember that at one time they were just as weak, timid, and fearful as I am now. But the boss, he's gracious and he's willing to teach all those who will listen. So there's no more excuse for settling for mediocrity. It's time to become a man like Jesus and John Wayne.

No comments: