These past eight months have been so full of travel and interestingly enough, most of them involved a lot of driving on busy highways and roads.
I often find myself alone in my passion for multi-lane highways that wrap around concrete jungles. And the more I stay true to this unique passion; I find more of my true authentic self.
So why do I like them? You ask.
It’s simple really. Everyone is headed in the same direction.
The vehicles are all unique, various makes and models, but they are travelling in the same direction. Notice I didn’t say destination? From time-to-time, vehicles make take their exits but then others join us as they merge from one of many on-ramps, joining the masses, all of us on our merry way…in the same direction.
That my friends, is called UNITY- “The state of being united or joined as a whole”.
We are united by going in the same direction and yet staying uniquely individual, traveling in our own make and model.
The Problem? I find that as we travel on a highway in a united fashion, some travelers become weary and impatient and they begin to grumble. They don’t like the “PACE”. Perhaps they don’t like the masses and would prefer a country road that would take them to the same destination faster, without all the extra traffic. Some get annoyed when someone else wants to join the journey and merge into the mass of travelers. They don’t like to create “SPACE”. Perhaps they don’t like the fact that each vehicle is unique, and the comparison of “who has the better vehicle” gets under their skin. They like to “COMPARE”.
I remember on one recent road trip as I was merging onto the highway, I almost got clipped by the truck that was in the lane I was trying to merge into. The driver didn’t have room to move over to make room for me so I needed to let them pass before I could merge safely, at which point I realized I was holding my breath out of fear the whole time!!
Whatever the case, everyone is forced to go forward in UNITY (road rules). But are they really experiencing UNITY if all they want to do is get to their destination and “get rid of / ignore” those who aren’t like them, or choose to take a different highway to decrease the number of others on the road so they can simply get to where they are going faster? And are they really driving forward in UNITY if they demand that “it is their way or the highway”? (Pun intended).
Then it happened…
This visual got me thinking of the Church (shocker). There are so many people who say they want UNITY. Although, they may be genuine, don’t seem to know how to live it out. There are some who want it, but only for the sake of their public image (aka: being a ‘good’ Christian). There are some who want UNITY because they have embraced it as heart of Christ’s ministry to His people. And there are some who could care less, and they do.
I don’t know who you are or how you define unity, but as Believers, we are all headed in the same direction…all on a journey of following Jesus and ultimately headed for a destination called heaven. God made a way for us by sending His Son, Jesus ahead of us to the Cross on our behalf. That secures our identity and our destination of Heaven. He is the Way, the Truth, and the life. No one can get to the Father but through Him. Do you believe that? Then you are on a journey of living the abundant life and on your way to Heaven. It doesn’t matter how long or short you have been on your journey. The question is, do you believe in Jesus?
I think what seems to be trapping so many people within our church communities is in-fighting and as a result, they take their own version of “road rage” to their social media sites. If that describes you, I encourage you to consider how you are representing Jesus in the spaces and places you go. This is not an argument to support or deny what Jesus says or does. It’s simply a reminder that there are some who are meant to be on this “highway” and are waiting on the on-ramp. They want to find a place of hope and rescue and to travel a better road, not the road where they experience what the world is giving them.
I’m not saying, “go to church (the Building) and you will find Jesus”. What I am saying is that “we as the Church” (who we are) need to do a better job of making room for those who desire to join us on the journey and to help them experience more unity as we travel this road together. Whether you are on a highway, a bi-way, a country road or trail and have a relationship with Jesus, then you have the responsibility to share that with others and encourage them to join you from the on-ramp and not discourage them to get out of the way or to take an exit.
What a privilege, to leave our church buildings, to spend the rest of our week building relationships with those who are not yet on the highway, who feel they are on the outside and give them the gift of inclusion.
On this road trip of life, I have discovered that the destroyers of unity are PACE, SPACE, and COMPARISON. We have all been guilty of those from time to time.
Let’s make today different…
Check your pace, make space, and don’t compare…Live your story!!
What does God’s word say about the direction you are going in?
Is He asking you to consider a “rest stop” so you can take a spiritual inventory of some kind?
Is He asking you to move over and make room for another on your journey?
Thank you for joining me on this journey.