“It’s your road and yours alone, others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.”
Where are you going?
Where have you been?
Where do you want to be?
Who do you want to be all along the way? You? Or someone not quite you? Is it possible to live a life that is not really our authentically own but somewhat of a distortion? A misleading impression? Egos demand attention and constant boosting. Masks hide, marking us less genuine. Will your insides be congruent with your outsides?
The weather is sure to be unpredictable, the road often dangerous. There will be obstructions, preventing passage and progress, providing much opportunity for growth.
How will it be with your soul? Will it expand? Or shrink?
What if there is an emergency? Will we know how to act, what to do, how to be? Serious, unexpected, perilous situations requiring immediate action often reveal how we really think about life and about death.
The word emergency comes from seventeenth century Medieval Latin emergentia, meaning ‘arise, bring to light’. Will we be one who rises to the unsettling occasion? One who effectuates light along the precarious, vulnerable, uncertain, anything could happen, yet-wild-with-holy-wonder way?
What if our navigation system gets stuck, which way will we turn? Whose voice will we listen to? Will we be one of those who stops to help another along the way? Or be the one shoving and shouting “Get out of my way?” What if we are the one who gets in another’s way and they shove and shout at us?
How are we to make our way? Force and forge for our own? What if we go the wrong way, wander into harm’s way, and can’t find our way back? If we are to lose our way, is there anyone who will call us back?
In 1991, Dennis DeYoung from the band Styx wrote a song called “Show Me The Way” for his son Matthew about the internal, as well as external difficulty to keep hope and faith alive and real in such a struggling world.
It is a similar struggle that many of us throughout history have faced. Aren’t we all, trying to make our way? Is there a way, a manner of living and loving that matters tremendously, or does none of it really matter?
“I feel this empty place inside, so afraid I’ve lost my faith.”
” Take me tonight to the river and wash my illusions away.”
“Please, show me the way.”
“I keep on hoping for a sign, so afraid I just won’t know.”
“Bring me tonight to the mountain and take my confusion away.”
“Please. Show me the way.”
I am just finishing “The Trial and Death of Jesus” written by Mr. Justice Haim H. Cohn, who was a Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court. In this significant book, he offers profound and respectful engagement between the Gospels, Jewish and Roman laws and customs, and the historical period in which Jesus lived.
It was a struggling world then, too.
There were struggling people then, too.
Trying to make their way.
Into that struggle, Jesus came.
I am deeply impacted anew regarding what the world was like during that time, and by the details of this profoundly relational story. His story.
Into their struggle, into our struggle, Jesus came to make a way. A way to restore what was horribly wrong.
Through His manner of living and loving, from the time of His miracle birth in Bethlehem, to the time of His sacrificial death in Jerusalem by crucifixion on our behalf, known in Rome as the gravest and cruelest death of all, to the time of His resurrection from the dead, in all of His life and His death, He has been showing us the way.
Leisurely conversation with friends. Intimate personal relationships. Dinner parties on hillsides.
Calming the storm on the sea, and in my storming soul.
Compassionate responses and reactions to hurting people. Passionate prayer focused on His Father. Forgiveness. Mercy. Grace. Joy. Freedom.
Walking and watching and thinking and listening and engaging along Palestine roads full of people and commerce, military endeavors, tax-collectors. Travelers passing by on foot, donkey, camel, and in carriages.
Calling attention to the beauty of a lily, a work of art. Weeping at a friend’s grave. Sitting around the fire under the stars.
Poetic parables, spoken in pictures that struck the hearts and minds of people with important life truths. Offering rest from His gentle heart to those wandering, weary and heavy of heart.
What was it like for people to hear these stories in person? What was it like fishing and talking together? What did His voice sound like? Who laughed with Him? Cried with Him? What were His eyes like? I think they must have been intense and penetratingly beautiful.
Rest, in Him to find joy and dignity, not in what you can demand from Him, but to enjoy Him.
Others may walk it with you but no one can walk it for you.
Where are you going?
Who do you want to be all along the way?
“Please. Show me the way.”
In all this battle and struggle of things, Jesus came to make a way.
“I will show you the way.”
” I am The Way.”