You and I have won the ultimate adventure trip. Jesus is the one who has called us to this adventure. Jesus won this trip for us through His death and Resurrection. Now let me ask you a question, “How would you pack for a trip if you didn’t know exactly what route you will be taking?” We are told just one thing, the destination. The destination is eternal life with God in Heaven. There are two things however that we aren’t told in advance. We are not told the route that we will take to get there and we are not told how long the trip will last.
Allow me to borrow one stanza from the song THE SUMMONS by John L. Bell and Graham Maule.
“Will you come and follow me if I but call your name? Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same? Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known, will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?”
In Genesis 12:1 God called Abram to leave his home and journey far away without telling him the destination. In Matt 4:18-19 Jesus called Peter and Andrew to abandon their nets and follow Him to a destination unknown.
How would you or I respond to a call like this to leave everything behind and follow Jesus? Peter responded with these words: “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” (Luke 5:8) However Peter did in deed follow Jesus. This decision ultimately cost him his earthly life….but his response also garnered his eternal life. Peter had no way of knowing what was in store for him when he chose to follow Jesus. We don’t either. Are you still ready to go?
Just like Abram and just like the Apostles, we too have been called on a journey to abandon our desires and follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. We are called to Discipleship. We are called to a continuous and progressive lifelong conversion.
Unlike most trips, none of us know how long this journey will last. We may have only one day left or we may have many years to wander. Here are the trip instructions: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26)
Maybe you are feeling quite comfortable right where you are now. Maybe you don’t want to go on this trip. The Apostles wanted to stay on the mountain after the Transfiguration. Jesus however had work for them to do. (Luke 9:33) We cannot stay put either. He has work for us to do too.
Here is an interesting point. Matthew, Mark and Luke all tell their own unique version of the Transfiguration story, but they all have one thing in common. They speak of fear. Luke 9:34 says: “they became frightened.” Mark 9:6 says: “they were so terrified” Matthew 17:6 tells the story this way: “they fell prostrate and were very much afraid.”
Why do we fear the call of Jesus to leave everything behind and follow Him? Is it really the fear of the unknown or perhaps instead it is the fear of the known that has us so frightened to embark on this trip? Think about this: You and I are called to nothing less than a journey from who we are now, to who God wants us to be. In a sense we are called to also be transfigured.
To change we must first evaluate who we are now. Maybe this is what also frightened the Apostles. They were in God’s presence on that mountain. They could not hide or pretend. We too are in God’s presence. With God all of our false pretenses are stripped away. We cannot hide behind a mask. We can’t tell a lie to save our image. God knows us as we are with all of our faults and failings. Everything is laid bare in His presence. This is scary and yet He still chooses to call us.
In closing, we must recognize that Jesus won this trip for us and He calls us to traverse a route unknown. It is said that a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. The road might be long, lonely, tiring and even treacherous. We can’t rely on ourselves alone on this journey; we must rely on God. TRUST IS THE KEY! If we trust in the One who called us on this trip we will one day reach our destination.
Let’s each pray that we can live our life by the words from the final stanza from that same song THE SUMMONS:
“Lord your summons echoes true when you but call my name. Let me turn and follow you and never be the same. In Your company I’ll go where Your love and footsteps show. Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.”
We have been called, of that there is no doubt. The question is: “Are we prepared to answer yes?”
Dear Heavenly Father, please be near to me on this journey. I place my trust in you!
This coming weekend I have been invited to serve on a men’s Cursillo weekend. The candidates on this weekend are hoping to experience a personal transformation. Please keep Men’s Cursillo # 78 in the Diocese of Charlotte in your prayers.
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