Here's another terrific read by my awesome friend and sister-in-Christ, Trina Cornell! Continued prayers for my mission in Vietnam, please!
My husband, Bob, and I just returned from a six-state road trip – from Saint Louis, we traveled through Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee. Needless to say, we put many a mile on my car! We saw some truly amazing sites – the Appalachian Mountains, the Smoky Mountains, and the Cumberland Gap.
This trip also included Bob’s 18th marathon run in Williamson, West Virginia, about which I previously wrote. He spent five grueling hours running the race set out before him. He explained to me that each mile of the race had a mile marker – a way for him to keep up with how far he had run, and how close he was to the finish. For 26.2 miles, these are definitely helpful for the avid runner – for pacing purposes, hydration, and mental stamina. He commented on how these markers encouraged him to keep moving forward, even when he wanted to quit.
Before and after his race, Bob and I drove many miles to reach our planned destinations. As we drove through each state and passed through each city, we used mile markers to gauge our progress. In planning for our trip, Bob used Mapquest to estimate the times and distance for each part of our trip to make sure we allotted enough time. With those maps and our GPS, we followed the course we set for ourselves to reach our destinations. Mile markers were also especially helpful in this context – they aided Bob and me as we traveled. Along with this, we also used signs with cities and miles to go posted to plan our stops along the way and assist us in gauging our time.
Every place we visited, and every stop we made, had a beginning point and ending point – we had a good idea of time and distance with the tools that we brought. We knew we would arrive at our destination, and that would end that particular leg of the trip.
In the Christian life, we are all running a race – the course set forth by the Lord when we entered this world. We have created different “mile markers” in life, which include birth, first steps, first day of school, graduation, and the like. These events occur in our lives, giving us goals to strive for and points to reach. The interesting thing about the Christian race – there are not really a definite set of mile markers. We do not know when we will reach the end of our race.
James writes in chapter 4, verses 14 through 16: “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you out to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will like and do this or that.’ Otherwise, you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.” (NLV) James reiterates the point that we are humans – our life is a small portion of God’s master plan. We are not going to last – our race, one day, will reach its end. Unfortunately we do not know when that day will be.
What are we supposed to do, without “mile markers” in this life? The Lord has shown us what we are to do through His word. He asks us to live a godly, obedient life, serving others and using our talents to his glory. Jesus told two parables related to this – the parable of the talents and the parable of the ten virgins, both in Matthew 25. The man given one talent chose to bury what he had been given, and five virgins did not have sufficient oil to wait for the bridegroom. Both of these parables teach us how we should lead our lives – use the talents the Lord has given us to His glory, and prepare ourselves for his return – through study, prayer, and a strong relationship with the Lord.
Mile markers make a road trip so much easier – but the road of life does not provide them. Live a life worthy of the Lord, prepare yourself, and stay alert!
God bless, Steve
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