Travelling to Queensland with my family, in a car, trapped for hours, gave me fresh appreciation for the journey! But in all seriousness, those hours journeying together are something I think i cherish more than the destination itself! As disciples of Jesus, measuring results is mostly the business of the Lord. But when I think about roads, what I have learnt is that the journey can be as meaningful as the destination.
This should make sense to us, after all, isn't this part of the imagery of being on the road with Jesus. On the road with Jesus, we are walking with Christ...and our destination is....to be with Christ. The road with Jesus is full of purpose and intention - and much preparation was made, so that we could respond to His invitation! And that mission of Jesus is what we are invited into today. Being on the road with Jesus means participating in His mission - playing our part or the 2nd Act if you like.
Think about the last time you went on a journey. The forward planning and provisioning for the trip. Preparing the car and making sure you have enough petrol money. Thinking about those food stops and working out with roads to take. The truth is your journey started even before you packed your car or boarded the aircraft.
Nothing happened by accident for Jesus - everything had purpose, intent and foresight. Jesus was very interested in counting the cost, and thinking about the long term, making every step on His road count. All the journey's of our lives, and our activities, have cost. Jesus speaks about this in Luke 14 about participating in His mission, offering two analogies:
- Who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’
- What king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away.
Jesus went all the way to cross - He counted the cost and He was prepared to pay. And His resurrected life is now offered freely to all. Jesus offered His life, like seed scattered by a farmer, freely and willingly. Jesus did not reconsider giving His life based on results, that is, our acceptance of His salvation. Rather Jesus made every preparation to help us be His disciples - Jesus has a plan and a purpose for our lives, and He does call us to live with intention and faith, building and provisioning for others who we invite to join Jesus on the Road. Let us remember that we are with Jesus on the road, relying on His strength, His plan and His purpose in reaching the destination.
So next time you go on a road trip, remember Jesus - who knew you before birth (Ps 71:6) and prepared a road for good and lasting works for you to walk (Eph 2:10). And let us remember to continue to participate in the mission Jesus, preparing for others to come and know Him, and inviting people onto the Road with Jesus.