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"Going Nowhere" & the Real Adventure

While sifting through blog ideas this morning, I came across one line in my daily devotion and knew I had found my Monday Musing.

"Although you may feel as if you are going nowhere in this world, your spiritual journey is another matter altogether, taking you along steep, treacherous paths of adventure." ~Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

Interestingly enough, my thoughts were running along these lines at church yesterday, comparing my spiritual journey to my efforts as a writer, and considering how much simpler (though not easier) life would be if I could just focus only on my spiritual walk and forget everything else. In The Pilgrim's Progress, for example, the protagonists have literally nothing else to think about: they have left all behind and are single-mindedly chasing the Celestial City. Every pitfall and failure, blessing and mercy, is a landmark on their direct route to heaven. And while their journey is perilous, painful, and rife with struggles . . . there are times when I almost envy them.

One of this world's most nefarious qualities is its ability to be supremely distracting. We know that as children of Christ we are in this world but not of it, which means that we must never forget our true home in heaven, or the fact that the world is a temporary stop. We're just passing through.

Still, though, "passing through" can look different for us than it does for Christian and Hopeful on their road through The Pilgrim's Progress. It might mean going to school and learning many things of present value, but not all eternal; it might mean making money in order to be independent and to keep from being a burden on those who support us; it might mean choosing and chasing a career, with all the struggles and stresses that come with it. And most importantly, it always means balancing those things with our constant march toward heaven and our eternal prize.

We don't see this balancing act in The Pilgrim's Progress, and that might be one of the only factors in which I envy Christian and Hopeful. It is so difficult at times to focus on the spiritual when it feels as if our present life is spinning out of control. It is so difficult to have dreams and passions and feel them going nowhere, even if our spiritual feet are still plodding along on their quest. It is so difficult to look at the world around us—a world full of people and places and obligations and desires that all feel so real—and remind ourselves that the invisible journey is infinitely more real, infinitely more significant, than anything we could chase in this life.

We are on an adventure. Not chasing a dream, a magic income level, a perfect family, a certain degree of worldly happiness—those things are all distractions, all transient and hollow when compared to the glory that awaits us at the end of the true mission. If we keep our eyes only on the road we can see, we might stop moving forward on the spiritual road before we even notice. We might get turned around, led astray, turned backwards on our spiritual path before we even notice.

So take notice. No matter how real this world feels, and all the duties and dreams, stresses and pressures that come with it, the road to heaven is the real adventure, the real journey worth taking. On that road, we should never be "going nowhere," but always progressing, always advancing toward our heavenly goal; and if we keep our eyes on the spiritual road, God will guide our steps through the worldly one, too.

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