I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on the journey of the individual. It’s a journey with twists and turns. It’s a journey full of adventure and danger. Every journey requires a road. At times it may not look like much of a road. There are times where the road may even appear to be nonexistent. However, every good adventure story requires a journey, and every good journey requires a road.
There is a book I have been reading during my hiatus from posting in the midst of Christmas vacation. It’s called “On the Shoulders of Hobbits: the Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis”. The first section of the book is simply discussing the road on our journey. The author points out that in our story the road itself is an actual character. It has its own life and personality, its own plot twists, and even its own emotions.
A few weeks ago I had the privilege to meet with an old professor of mine. He reminded me of a lesson he often repeated in the classroom. God cares about the process in our journey. We forget that. We remain so focused on the end result that we forget the importance of the process that our journey has. It is a process that is guaranteed to at times be painful and frustrating. Many times it will seem unclear in the moment.
Moses had to go through a process. We forget how much waiting was involved for Moses before he ever even went to free God’s people. God had him live out in the wilderness as a shepherd for years before he finally decided he was ready. We take that part of the story for granted because we don’t see the details in that part of the story. We don’t see the lessons of virtue, leadership, kindness, and morality that Moses grew to understand during that time.
What about Joseph. He went form one bad situation to the next after receiving a dream of the end result. Yet God had him wait as a slave to a man, and then as a prisoner. Why all the waiting? God was training Joseph up to prepare him for his final hour. I wonder what would have happened if Joseph refused to relent to the process of growth. What if he decided to jump off the road God had placed him on because he could not possibly see how this would end with a glorious conclusion to his story?
That’s just it though. Since when was the process of Joseph journey only about his story? Since when was our process in the journey only applicable to our own story? We assume we are the chief character in this little play, but in reality we are s single thread in a grand tapestry that extends beyond all time and understanding. The process is important in our personal journey, because God uses our personal journey to help tell a much grander story.
Moses following the road he was placed on lead to the rescue of God’s people. It lead to a time where they would enter into the promised land even though Moses would never witness this end. Joseph’s road lead to the salvation of God’s people in the midst of famine so that one day Moses would then come to bring to the land they were promised. Two men who lived generations apart, but whose journeys are woven together in a way neither could have ever predicted.
Why is this concept so important for you and me? I confess this post is a little heavier on the mind than others. It is more abstract and does not focus on something concrete that we can sink our teeth into right away. What then is the real purpose to this post?
Perhaps it is simply this. We are on the road we are on for reasons beyond our own personal story. It is a road that will inevitably be filled with twists and turns. It will be full of danger and enemies. It will be filled with those who wish to hurt you, and scattered with those who will show you compassion and tenderness. It is a road where you will at times wish to leave. It is a road that will dare you to walk down it when it seems failure waits at the end of it. It is also a road full of adventure and growth. It is a road mean to prepare you for your final hour. It is a road meant to remind you that you are not quite meant for this world. It is a road paved with a cross. It is the only road worth traveling because for all of its darkness it is the only road that will lead you into your final hour worth having. It is the only road that will extend your story beyond yourself and into a beautiful tapestry that will make your life more than just a story. This is the road that makes legends.
Trust in the Lord of the road, and delight in His process of maturing you into being the stuff of legends.