This Life Is A Journey
Where we live in Rapid City, South Dakota, USAmerica, we have a great, first-class museum named The Journey Museum. Among other exhibits, it features the various pioneer journeys made by different people who founded and settled our region and community in the late 1800’s. Since our first issue of The Traveler in September 2009, in one way or another every monthly issue has been about our journey through this mortal life from conception to death . . . and beyond.
That’s so basic, many of us often overlook it: this mortal life is a journey. Each of us is a traveler on that journey. There’s no escaping the journey . . . there’s no way around it . . . there’s no way out of it. And for each of us the mortal phase of our journey will end at the moment of our death (or when Jesus returns to earth). Period! We’re sojourners. We’re pilgrims. We’re wanderers. We’re wayfarers. For now, we’re “homeless” travelers enroute to our True Home we’ll arrive at either when we die or when Jesus returns to earth as He promised He will do.
Why? Why? Why
So what’s the journey all about? Why are we here? What’s our purpose? What’s our reason for being here? It all began with God . . . and will end with God. God created each of us. God placed us here. God is overseeing each of us on our separate journeys. Do I fully understand such matters? No! But I believe them because God has given us the Bible so we can at least have a little understanding of what our journeys are all about.
Think about this: without the Bible, we would have no clue about why we’re here, why we’re journeying, where we’re headed. Oh, philosophers and some religions tell us a little about our mortal journey, but we wouldn’t have any real knowledge of what it’s all about without the Bible.
Each of us was conceived and born on this planet either in the 20th or 21st century. Do you understand why you’re you, why you were conceived, and why, when, and where you were born? Have you ever wondered why you are a sentient, human being instead of a tree or an amoeba? But here you are: a living being, living here, right now, on planet Earth in October 2013, responsible to the one true and living God who created you. Do I understand all there is to know about such matters? No! But I do have the Bible . . . and it goes a long way toward answering such mysteries.
We’re actually spirit beings sent here by God to have a temporary human experience, not mere human beings sent here by God to have a temporary spiritual experience. Dear reader, our time here as mortals on planet Earth is very brief, very temporary, only a nano-second of time compared to the entire scope of what God has in mind for each of us. Yes, our mortal time here is as brief and temporary as the morning fog before it’s dissipated by the rising sun. The only solid, unchanging, firm, reliable aspect of our brief lives here during our mortal journey is our relationship with Father God through Jesus. Everything—everything!—else is sinking sand. And—for each of us—the sands of time are sinking all too rapidly!
Years ago I asked God to help me make footprints—not buttprints—in the sinking sands of time!
Beyond the Open Door
The most important thing you must do during your brief journey through time and space here on planet Earth is to open the door of your inner life and invite Jesus to enter you and then live permanently inside you in his “unbodied form” of Holy Spirit. That door of your inner life has no doorknob on the outside, only on the inside. God will not open the door for you, nor will He force it open or knock it down by brute force. No! You must willingly open that door from the inside by your own choice. Once you open that door and invite Jesus to take up permanent residence within you, then “all heaven will break loose” inside you and work its way out into your own, day-to-day world as you begin to share your new inner life with other people.
Opening that inner door of your life and inviting Jesus to take up permanent residence inside you is what the Bible terms being “born again.” When you were born the first time, you were born physically. As far as I know, all of us have experienced that birth. If you haven’t, then I’d like to talk with you about aliens from outer space and things of that nature . . . Being born again is a spiritual birth—just as real (actually more real) as your physical birth, but it’s a new birth of your inner spirit.
Here’s what happens when a person is born again. When born physically, every human is given a “universe” within themselves, created never to cease to exist. We are each conceived a living wonder exploded into being—inside us a small universe within a vast multiverse; it’s called the human spirit. Once we have been born physically, then inside each of us is a tiny point of light in our spirits, a miniscule sphere in our midsection. It is where two worlds intersect—the invisible world of the Eternal Realm and the visible realm we experience in time and space with our five senses.
It is where the incomprehensively vast becomes indescribably small—where infinity becomes finite, the invisible visible, where He-who-is-beyond-the-universe is Self-reduced to a pinpoint of intense light within the person who invites Jesus into their life and is born2. It is where the King of all Creation becomes King of our inner kingdom. When you are born2, something inside you wakens. Like the early morning shadows of consciousness that reveal faint images, the newly born2 person begins to have an inner awareness—an inner-knowing—of things not known before.
That’s what it’s all about: being born again and establishing a permanent, eternal relationship with God through Jesus . . . and then sharing that relationship with others so they, too, invite Him into their lives. And so it goes. We pass the baton of the Good News about Jesus to those around us and from one generation to the next. That’s what this mortal journey is all about.
Toys and Things
Your mortal journey is decidedly not about permanently amassing things, “toys” lands, property, or wealth. It’s not about fame and fortune. Nothing during this mortal journey is permanent. I’ve attended many funerals in my lifetime; at most funerals I’ve looked inside the coffin; there’s never been anything in there except the dead person’s body. And I’m sure you’ve heard the quip that you never see a U-Haul trailer behind the hearse at funeral processions. When you die or when Jesus returns to Earth, you can’t take anything with you except for “treasures” you’ve sent on ahead of you by giving to other people during your mortal journey. What are you giving to others . . . right now, today, during your journey? You can’t take anything with you!
At The Crossroads
If our journeys are to be relevant, meaningful, and purposeful, they must begin at the cross upon which Jesus died at 3 pm, Wednesday, April 12th, 27 A.D. on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Israel. All other beginnings are “false starts” in this journey called life. There on that cross all human sins were forgiven, all of life began anew, all people were potentially made whole and complete.
We journey upon what the Bible calls a “Highway of Holiness,” an infinite figure 8 loop constantly leading us forward to our ultimate destiny in God, yet also continually leading us back to the cross, both the starting and ending point of our journeys. The cross upon which Jesus died stands solidly towering over all dimensions of time, space, and eternity. All our journeys begin and end at that cross. Whenever we come to crossroads during our journey, we must always take the crossroad leading us closest to that “old rugged cross.” If not, then we have taken a detour, and God will lead us back to the cross to begin our journey anew. We shall never cease from our mortal journeying, and the end of all our journeying will be to arrive at where we started and to know the place for the first time!
Here is an important point to be considered as we each continue our journeys: The cross is not a place of a new beginning; rather, it is always a place of new beginnings . . . plural. God is not the God of a second chance during our journeys. No, He is the God of many chances . . . as many as we need to begin anew our ongoing relationship with Him through what Jesus did on our behalf on the cross. Are you struggling with an addiction? With the inability to maintain godly relationships with other people? Are you struggling financially? Are you struggling with what the Bible calls “besetting sins”?
Are you bound with emotional challenges? With poor physical or mental health? Do you need a new beginning in any area of your life? Jesus came to set people free who are imprisoned by sin. Those who are bound by addictions. Those who are financially “broken.” Those who are oppressed. Those who need liberation in any area of their life. That’s what the cross is all about. Bring those types of burdens to the cross . . . and leave them there for God to take care of so you can begin your journey anew . . . as many times as you need new beginnings.
Being born again and leaving your burdens at the foot of that old rugged cross means you can choose to begin your journey anew and afresh whenever you have taken a detour on the road of Life. Don’t stay on the detour; instead, get back on the Highway of Holiness and start your journey afresh and anew!
God says He never changes. That’s because He is wholly “complete” in and of Himself. But having said that about God, everything in our lives is constantly changing. Nothing ever seems to stay the same. We humans can either resist change . . . or we can embrace change. We need to understand if we’re believers in Jesus, within our changes God is always at work changing us more and more back into his clear image as best seen in Jesus. Such changes serve to “expand” our souls and spirits and enlarge our heart’s capacity to love God more. They expand God’s supernatural influence in our lives beyond our human limitations.
If nothing changes, nothing changes! The only humans who don’t seem to resist change are babies with wet diapers! If we are not growing and changing each day, we are ripe and rotting! By our deliberate choices and decisions we can learn to cooperate with God in the changes He wants to make in our lives. As you plummet through those rapids of change in your life, do not resist them; rather, look for God in the changes and embrace them.
“We are all going to be changed; we’ll all hear the loud blast of a trumpet, and in less time than it takes to blink, we’ll be changed! We’ll be up and out of our graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. Yes, in God’s resurrection scheme of things, we will all be changed! –paraphrased from 1 Corinthians 15
To Think About This Month
“We shall never cease from our mortal journeying, and the end of all our journeying will be to arrive at where we started and know the Place for the first time!” –adapted from T. S. Eliot
Life Enrichment Services, Inc.
Revised and Updated December 2020