Lifelines December 13, 2020

It is the journey of a lifetime.  Strategies are formed, and steps are taken toward this goal and then the next.  Missions are accomplished and targets are hit.  A driver’s license.  High school and college.  A job with a future.  Romance and marriage.  Success.  A house, maybe a second one for vacations.  Retirement.  Then what?  As attractive as this world may appear to be, it is only home for a moment.  Then we move on.  To where?

There are two roads, both with clearly defined destinations.  We choose and travel.  One is much easier than the other.  The entry is broad and inviting.  Virtually anything is permitted and baggage is unlimited.  There are few sacrifices and lots of company.  It is perpetually marked with signs declaring the fun of the trip, forget the destination.  Enjoy the party.

The other road is much more rigorous.  Even the onramp is demanding.  It requires a change of clothes and leaving the old dirty ones behind, even our favorite sweatshirt that we’ve worn for years.  There are perpetual challenges that demand continual references to the directions.  Take this turn and avoid that one.  Do this not that.  We notice very little company along the way.  We stretch our eyes to see a solitary figure far ahead of us.  We quicken our pace to follow the leader.

As we close the distance, we see scars.  The hands that gesture for us to join Him on the journey bear remnants of ugly wounds.  The marching feet do, too.  His back is marred by stripes that testify of a brutal beating, and His brow shows evidence of a different kind of crown.  It is clear that this is a path unlike any other.  It is little wonder that very few will choose it. 

The choice is not an easy one.  It should be but isn’t.  Humans are so near-sighted that we don’t see beyond the horizon where our destination lies.  The devil knows exactly how to tempt us with the here and now.  He immediately attacked the hunger that Jesus surely felt.  He dangled worldly power and prestige before the Son of God.  He taunted Him with the sensational.  His bag of tricks isn’t empty now, either.  His deceptions make the destructive way look awfully attractive. We never know when the road will end, only that it will.  The word of God makes it clear that we all have an appointment with death that is unavoidable. Both roads take us there and then judgment.  Eternity begins and never ends.  Never.  That makes this decision the only one that will ever matter.  Shall we take the narrow, challenging way or the broad, easy way.  We’ll have brief diversions along the way and then one final stop that will last forever.  Our choice is determined by where we want to spend eternity.  Only one road leads to life.  Choose wisely.