4 "You know the way that leads to the place where I am going." 5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; so how can we know the way to get there?" 6 Jesus answered him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me."
Even though I've been here for a year, I have to admit that I still don't know my way around the area, of course this is due to the pandemic and not being able to get out and about, so when I come to a sign in the road saying road closed, follow diversions, it worries me a little bit, does it mean that the way that I need to go is barred, or does it mean that it is further up the road, and I can take the risk and carry on with my usual journey.
This happened to me the other day, when I was going to take a service at our Mendlesham Chapel, the route I usually take said road closure, follow diversions, but it was not clear where the diversions were going, so I took the risk of continuing on my usual route, and hoping that I would get to the turning that I needed before the road I needed was closed, so you could say I went forward in faith. As I drove along the road I kept seeing more road closure signs, eventually I got to the road where I needed to turn off, and just after that turning I saw yet another sign, it made me think that if I had followed the diversions, where would I have ended up, nowhere near where I needed to be!!!
This is how life is, especially the Christian life, we all have roads that we travel on, sometimes they are planned, and other times we just let the road take us where it goes, as we travel, we can come across diversions, sometimes things or people block our way, or at other times it may be God leading us down a new road, to something different and exciting, but we have to put our trust in him because he knows where he wants us to go. Our roads will lead us in many directions, and some may not be in the way we want to go but if we dare to walk them, it will give us an interesting life and, on the way, we may get to know God better.
In the book The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan we find the Story of Christian making a journey from his Home to the Celestial City, the City of God. But the Story could be about any Christians journey through life. So, I would like to leave you with these words of Christian's which reminds us how ever hard life's Journey gets its always worth pressing on with.
"I was climb up to the mountain,
top never mind if the path is steep,
for I know that through strife leads the way to life,
and the way-farer must not weep.
So courage my heart, don't faint, don't fear
Though the rough rock makes the way slow,
The easy track only leads me back,
up and on is the way I must go soon."
His progress was slower, then he went on his hands and knees because the way was very steep. But it was all worth it because as he reaches the top, his burden falls from his back and is never see again.
Rev'd Robert Sheard
United Reformed Church Minister of Stowmarket, Debenham, Stowupland, Mendlesham & Haughley
July / August 2021