Sunday, December 22, 2013

Reality Check {Hiking to Jerusalem}

This December marks ten year that I was baptized.

Ten years ago, I thought I knew what the Christian walk was all about.

I knew I had a lot of growing to do, but I didn't realize how much.

I assumed in ten years I would have it figured out.

Reality is ten years later I think I know less than what I knew then.

Or maybe that is growth.

The realization of how little we know.

Realizing how little we are.

Knowing that we are weak and tire easily.


The past few months, finishing up the roller coaster ride that 2013 brought, I felt like I was failing in my Christian walk.  And in many ways I was.  It felt that because things weren't falling into place and I wasn't feeling the warm feelings I thought I should be feeling that must mean I was doing something wrong.  Right?

It wasn't until I read Lynn Austin's book Pilgrimage that I realized that sometimes as Christians we struggle because of our mistakes but other times we go through a rocky time simply because we are Christians.

She writes about her journey to Israel.  {Seriously, get this book.  Not just at the library for a quick read, but as a highlight-make notes in the margin-read over and over-type of book.  Seriously!! Get it.}

I could try and describe what she wrote, but I would fail for sure.  Instead I'm going to share a small part that spoke loudly screamed to me:

When I look at this rugged terrain and the steep, breathless climb to Jerusalem, I wonder why we have tried to make the Christian life a comfortable one.  Why are we tempted to make our faith experiences all about "arriving", finding a great parking spot, resting on our achievements, building monuments and settling down?  I was guilty of doing just that....I'm learning that the spiritual life is all about change-moving forward and going steadily upward, growing closer and closer to God.  Its about sacrificing my will and my plans to His.

She describes the walk up to Jerusalem from the Jordan River as a difficult rocky climb.  How the city literally sits high on a rocky cliff-like hill.  How going up to Jerusalem on foot would require stamina.  How if we are truly on the road to the new Jerusalem it will require stamina.  We will tire, we might stumble, it will be hard.  

Reading what she wrote made me realize that while I haven't made the progress I thought I would have made in ten years, reality is, I've made great progress.  

I'm walking the rough, rugged terrain UP to Jerusalem.  

We're not supposed to be grazing in the green pastures.  

At least, not yet. 

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