It's amazingly mind stretching to see new things and go new places. You can't capture in photos or words what standing at the foot of the Grand Tetons does to widen the borders of your soul. But it is a tremendously long drive to Wyoming...!
We don't travel many short roads. Most of them are really, really long.
Like the road of grief,
of raising children,
of caring for aging parents.
These are great destinations we're heading for -
a time of remembering ones lost with less than soul strangling anguish,
where addiction ceases to have hold over every thought
when you are synced with your spouse as your best friend and biggest supporter
when someday they'll be grown up, and whole, of good character and leading rich lives,
to be able to function day to day, every day, leaving all infirmities behind...
and of aging parents - well, there's such a desire for them to be able to return to the strength and vitality they once had and a reestablishment of the relationship you once shared but as that destination is not available this is this longing for them to be comfortable and at peace.
Think of a decision to lose 30 pounds. Let's just say that you could do that in 6 months, which doesn't sound all that terrible, right? So six months is approximately 180 days, which is 540 meals at which you need to make the right choices, it's also 180 mornings when you have to decide whether to get up and exercise or take another half hour of sleep, and then when you are excercising do you do the ten more reps or the extra mile? It's numerous snacks, and sweet treats at the office, assorted holiday parties and the ever-tempting, more prolific than bunnies fast food eateries inhabiting every other corner... It's a long road. It's a lot of decisions that need to be made well to continue you on to your goal.
We are all on several long roads in our lives and sometimes we wonder -
"Are we there, yet?"
"How much farther?"
"How much longer can I keep this up?"
"Will I ever get there?"
"Is it really going to be worth it?"
Because although "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step", it is still a thousand miles between you and that final step.
What makes a long road easier?
A good traveling companion.
I've been on trips when three hours has past like 15 minutes and on others where 15 minutes seemed more like three hours …and I'm sure you have too.
We are blessed by those who walk with us on our journeys; those individuals along the way who are as an oasis of refreshment. They help, they advise, they encourage, they listen, and sometimes they just walk with us so that we know that we do not journey alone.
But we all have our own roads and as much as we’d like we cannot accompany each other or be accompanied by them the entire way. There is only one who walks every step with us and that the One who loves you unconditionally and eternally.
I Peter 2:21 says “…You have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.” What is a guardian? It’s defined as “Somebody who guards, protects or preserves somebody or something or somebody who is legally entrusted to manage somebody else’s affairs”
The synonyms for guardian are protector, guide, guard, defender, sentinel, and keeper – all such very rich words.
God is the guardian of my soul, of my days. He walks each step of this thousand mile journey with me. “You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am…You both precede and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength support me.” (Psalms 139 :1-10)
The road is long.
Like it or not, it just is.
But we’re never alone, there’s not a step we take unaccompanied.
He knows all, He sees all that befalls us.
He has promised to never leave us (Hebrews 13:5) and to provide strength for each new day. (Lamentations 3:23) He knows the steps I’m taking today and the ones I will need to take tomorrow and exactly how many tomorrows there will be until I reach my destination and, knowing all of that, He has signed on for the long haul.