What we do on our life’s journey is important.
All through our life, different situations come at us and we have to decide what is the ideal route to take.
What governs the way we make decisions and what is the best way?
Also when we have the right goal in our life it will resolve many of these dilemmas.
We need to juggle two goals:
- The first is to enjoy and get the most satisfaction whilst on the journey.
- The second is to have a good goal in mind so that all decisions work towards it.
Whether we like it or not, our life is a journey.
1. Don’t let fear stop you from setting off on your journey
Being scared of what disasters could happen paralyses our thought processes and makes it easier to remain as we are.
But remember this famous quote:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”Lao Tzu also known as Laozi (Lived sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BC) 1
We need to put aside the fear and nagging doubts and step out on our life’s journey.
But our fearful mind says ‘But what about… or….’
There could well be difficulties on route, but in reality, we probably won’t be able to guess correctly what these will be:
If all difficulties were known at the outset of a long journey, most of us would never start out at all.”Dan Rather. American journalist (1931- ) 2
Do not let the fear of misfortunes paralyse our thinking.
2. To get the most from life’s journey do not be half-hearted
Being half-hearted means that we are not giving our full attention to what we are doing.
The reason for this can be that we are not convinced the task we are doing is really needed, or we are too lazy, or our mind is divided over which course of action we should take.
Wherever you go… go with all your heart.”Confucius (c. 551–c. 479 BC) Chinese philosopher and politician. 3
James in the Bible informs us that being double-minded makes us unstable and easily blown around in different directions. 4
So we need to make up our minds and commit all our effort to fulfilling our decision.
3. On the journey stop worrying about your life
Worrying usually involves the small, niggling things in life, whereas fear is generally about the big disasters that could hit us.
Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.”Fitzhugh Mullan (1942–2019) an American physician, writer, educator, and social activist. 5
Worry is about everyday things. Even uncertainty or the unknown, causes anxiety.
Only a minor disturbance to an organised life can create worry.
Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”Andre Gide. French author (1869-!951) 6
This new journey of ours may take us into the unknown, but to do that we may need to let go of our safety net and all that we see as being safe.
So what is the point in worrying?
Jesus told us:
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.Matthew 6:31-34 NIV
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Corrie ten Boom was in the awful Nazi Ravensbrück concentration camp where she saw her sister die just a few months before the end of the war.
Corrie survived and she went on to say:
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”Corrie ten Boom (1892–1983). Dutch, Christian writer and public speaker. 7
Do not let worry stop us from stepping out.
4. Do not follow the crowd – life is a journey of exploration
The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd.Albert Einstein (1879-1955) 8
The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.”
A crowd-pleaser generally never achieves much.
The crowd often sinks to the lowest common denominator or worse, everyone follows the loudest voice, which probably is not guided by wisdom, common sense or good morals.
You do not have to follow the crowd.
When Jesus was talking about our journey to heaven and to everlasting life he warned us not to follow the crowd:
Enter by the narrow gate.Matthew 7:13-14 ESV
For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
The crowd is often swayed by false things or loud, persuasive voices.
Jesus immediately follows his warning above with:
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.Matthew 7:15-20 ESV
You will recognize them by their fruits.
Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
So every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”
Test what people say by their lifestyles, not the projected, falsely promoted image they want you to see.
If you are going to follow anyone, check out their lives to see what trail they leave behind them.
Is their path behind them full of injured, abused people?
Or are there many people who have been blessed and enriched by their friendship?
Jesus calls this evidence their fruit.
A bad person cannot leave a trail of good, wholesome fruit.
A good person will not have a trail of abused, hurt people.
What we do on our journey is important.
On our journey, we must do the right things.
Integrity in our everyday moments is essential but we must not lose sight of our destination.
5. Accept forgiveness for your mistakes on life’s journey
Sometimes I quickly go into a shop to buy a few essential food items, but I see some extras that would be good to have.
The cashier says, “Do you want a bag?” and I, trying to be environmentally friendly, refuse.
The end result is that I stagger out of the shop clutching all these items and struggle to make it back to the car!
The reason is that I was trying to carry too much ‘baggage’ and that is an illustration of when we are weighed down by holding on to all our life’s baggage, that is our past failures
Your journey will be much lighter and easier if you don’t carry your past with you.”Unknown. Search Quotes. 9
If those past failures are down to us behaving badly we need to, if possible, ask for forgiveness from the hurt party.
But more than that we need to say sorry to God and then let go of that baggage and move on.
King David, in the Bible, did some hideous things – how could he ever move on from them?
From his palace rooftop, he saw Bathsheba bathing and he lusted after her, but she was married to one of his loyal soldiers.
He sent for her and then slept with her and she became pregnant.
Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, was on the battle line in a war and was unable to make her pregnant
So David added to his wickedness and sent for him, they ate together and David sent Uriah home to his wife, Bathsheba.
David then heard that Uriah’s conscience would not allow him to sleep in comfort with his wife while the rest of the army was roughing it in tents.
So David dined him some more with plenty of wine, but still Uriah would not go home!
Uriah then went back to the war and David told the commander to put Uriah in the fiercest part of the battle.
Uriah died and Bathsheba mourned for her husband and then David married her.
God sent Nathan, the prophet, who rebuked David and told him that the sword would never depart from David’s family – in other words there would always be infighting within his family.
David was also told that Bathsheba’s baby would die.
David was repentant and wrote this Psalm:
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;Psalm 51:1-3 & 7-12 NIV
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me…
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
The Lord accepted David’s repentance, but the baby conceived in such wickedness still died and the sword truly did not depart from his household.
But even out of such bad things a second baby was conceived by David and Bathsheba and he became Solomon, one of the most famous kings of the Bible.
David was able to move on from his hideous ‘baggage’ because he repented and accepted the consequences along with forgiveness.
None of us is perfect, we all fall short and fail, but there is a way to move on from that place.
Perfection does not exist – only God is perfect.”Carolina Herrera (1939- ) a Venezuelan fashion designer. 10
6. Your life is a journey, how can we find out what happens after that?
It is amazing how many people believe that when our life’s journey is over then that is not the end.
Many believe that they will meet their loved ones and that they will be with them forever.
Some believe that death is the end, there is nothing beyond that moment.
Others believe that they will return to this earth as something else.
Surely the solution to this is simple:
If we want to find out what it is like to go canoeing we would ask a canoeist – someone who has done it!
So I would suggest that we listen to someone who has been beyond death and I don’t mean those who claim to talk to the spirit world.
In the Bible it says who NOT to ask:
When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God?Isaiah 8:19 NIV
Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?
Jesus, whose other name is the Son of Man, is the One to ask because he has said that he came from heaven:
Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.John 3:11-13 NIV
I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.“
On another occasion, Jesus spoke about Abraham who had lived more than 1900 years before Jesus, yet Jesus said:
Though you do not know Him (God), I know Him.John 8:55-58 NIV
If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know Him and obey His word.
Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day;
he saw it and was glad.’
‘You are not yet fifty years old,’ they said to him, ‘and you have seen Abraham!’
‘Very truly I tell you,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’ ”
The term ‘I am’ refers to when God gave his name as ‘I am’ to Moses:
Moses said to God, ‘Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them:Exodus 3:13-14 NIV
‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’
Then what shall I tell them?’
God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.
This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ‘ “
So Jesus was actually saying that he himself is God and that is why the people who heard him say that immediately picked up stones to kill Jesus.
What he was saying was that he was living before Abraham as the Eternal God.
Once Jesus was telling the disciples about heaven, he said:
My Father’s house (heaven) has many rooms;John 14:2-4 NIV
If that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
You know the way to the place where I am going.”
7. Heaven should be our journey’s destination
But Thomas didn’t know the way and what Jesus was talking about, so he said to Jesus:
Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’John 14:6 NIV
Jesus answered; ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father (God) except through Me.’ “
Remember what Jesus said about how “small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” 11
There is only one narrow way to heaven, to everlasting life.
And our life’s journey can be rough at times – it can be difficult to keep on the best track.
Where do all the other routes lead to?
They all end in the same place. Where’s that?
“Destruction” ….hell! We can’t fudge this one!
If we want to get to heaven we need to listen to what Jesus is telling us.
Christians should have heaven as their destination.
We shouldn’t get too settled in this world, because heaven is to be our eternal home.
Life is a journey, but do you know where you are going?
If you want an online Bible then I can recommend Bible Study Tools 12 and three good translations to look at are New International Version, God’s Word or Good News.
References – open in new tabs:
James 1:6-8 ↩
Matthew 7:13 NIV ↩