While filling up my motorcycle at a gas pump the other day I entered into some friendly chatter with a man who eventually asked me, “so where are you going.” I responded that I was just out for a ride. He seemed a little surprised. Then I explained to him that I had just moved here from suburban Philadelphia and that I was enjoying the open roads and scenic countryside of Lancaster County. The conversation was warm friendly, but what was also refreshing to me was simply the acknowledgment that I didn’t need to be on my way somewhere specific to enjoy the ride. And I have learned through many of life’s twists and turns, up and downs, that often it’s all about making the most of the journey and not being inflexibly obsessed with a destination.
On Saturday evening this past week I set out on a bicycle ride on the rolling country roads around Mount Joy. Half-way into my twenty mile ride some dark ominous clouds formed and slowly moved in my direction. Not long after I found myself in a headwind with dark clouds directly overhead and rain beginning to fall. I saw a young Amish boy walking hurriedly toward me with his fishing pole. The little boy was walking toward a bridge over a small stream as he hurried past he said “you’re going to get wet, sir…” I responded “And so are you.” “Nope” he said, “going under the bridge till it passes.” And then I invited myself to go under the bridge for protection for myself. What followed was a friendly and engaging conversation under a bridge while the wind howled and the clouds burst. Another reminder for me that life is so often about the stuff that happens while on the journey.
Scripture reminds us in 2 Corinthians 4:18 “What we see will last only a short time, but what we cannot see will last forever.”
For some of us the journey has been long. Very long and stormy. In no way do I wish to minimize the difficulties that many of us have had to face along the way. Some of you have shouldered the burdens that few of us could ever carry. You have bid farewell to life-long partners…and perhaps been robbed of life-long dreams. You have been given bodies that can’t sustain your spirit. Sometimes bills that outnumber paychecks and challenges that outweigh the strength. And you are naturally tired.
It’s hard for you to see the City, the Road Signs, the Finish Line when you are in the midst of the storms. The desire to pull over to the side of the road and give up is enticing. You want to go on, but there are days and weeks that seem very long…but God never said the journey would be easy, but he did say that the arrival would be worthwhile. And though it may sound a little pie in the sky…isn’t it true that the journey becomes more like an adventure when you know the Savior is walking beside you. He told me to tell you.