Posted by: karanoel | June 9, 2011

A journey worth taking

He was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. Hebrews 11:10 NLT

In The Horse and His Boy (my favorite Chronicle of Narnia), there is a boy named Shasta who has always felt drawn, almost to the point of longing, to know what lies north of his small seaside village and equally small existence. He doesn’t know why his curiosity is bent in that direction, but his father dismisses his questions and the boy doesn’t really think too far beyond that. The reader quickly learns the reason for his interest. The north is where he is from; he is simply being drawn back to the rock from which he was hewn.

We are Shasta. Inside each one of us is a longing to return to the place we came from and, in so doing, to become who we truly are and what we were always meant to be. Most of us would like to instantaneously arrive at that place and become that person, but fail to realize that it is the Spirit of the journey that will transform us into our true selves, preparing us to live in our native land and empowering us to accomplish things of eternal worth.

It’s the very reason we are drawn to stories of great romance or conquest in which obstacles are overcome, character is proven, and darkness defeated by light. They call to something of truth inside. It’s not enough, though, to watch movies or read books of struggle birthing significance. We were created to be in the story; to live significance. Because the purity of heaven is our native land, the noble cause of love is in our blood, and the courage required is our inheritance.

But, like Shasta or any character worth reading about, we have to traverse difficult ground and face troublesome things to get anywhere worth going. That can be so easily mistaken for the wrong road or one not worth the trouble. So we turn around and go back to what we know, maybe with a sense of relief, one of defeat, or perhaps a bit of numbness to true longing.

We were not made to be landlubbers, clinging to the familiar cultivated ground we have become so accustomed to. We were made to become master navigators of all terrain, able to quickly and adeptly go wherever God has called us to go. But we won’t become skilled sailors by sticking our toes in the edge of the sea or emboldened mountain climbers by gazing up at the heights. It is only in the journey – particularly the difficult parts – that we develop the necessary skill and strength required for mastery.

In other words, if you are in a boat with mounting waves and trembling knees, this is a good thing. Not because God wants to see you drown or head back to shore as quickly as your puny boat can get you there. But because he wants you to learn how to navigate the waves, so that they will never, ever be able to cause you fear or doubt again. He wants to set you free from the boundaries of your current existence, so that you can return to the land your heart longs for.

He is a good teacher, and a patient one. Even if you have jumped ship and swam to shore 100 times, he will lovingly take you back out to sea and show you the way through the storm. It is through this journey, and the relationship forged, that you will become who you truly are and what you were always meant to be.


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