There is no question that our culture worships at the altar of success. We love rags-to-riches stories. We swallow the world’s lie that the person with the biggest bank account, largest mansion, most expensive car and who is the CEO of a Fortune 500 company is a success.
In the “religious” world, the church with the largest congregation and the most elegant campus is considered a success. Churches compete with each other for recognition. TV evangelists [some, not all] pride themselves with their ratings. Pastors from the small, country churches feel inferior to the “big-city” pastor.
While I don’t believe that churches should compete against one another, I do believe we should do and be our best. We are told to be faithful not successful. Matthew 25:20 Sometimes faithfulness and “success” run on the same track but not always. Missionaries and pastors sometimes labor years without seeing the fruit of their labor.
As Christ-followers, we must remember we are part of something bigger than ourselves. Each of us have our place of service in the Kingdom and it all works together. “The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” I Cor. 3:5-9
This past Sunday, the Christian Church celebrated Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem prior to Easter Sunday. The story is so familiar to most of us, I am afraid that we have lost sight of the important due to the familiar.
The disciples had walked this familiar road many, many times. Jesus was familiar with this road as well. His parents took Him every year to the Passover Feast. But this year, this trip, everything was going to be different. All the travelers knew the road but only Jesus knew the journey.
Jesus had been trying to explain to His disciples what awaited them at the end of this journey but they never did grasp what Jesus was saying. They did not know this familiar trip was going to be anything but “familiar.”
Our lives are composed of many familiar “roads.” The student has a road that they are familiar with: meet bus 7:30 am, this class, that class, lunch, recess, etc. The worker has his familiar road: rush hour traffic, punch-in at 8:00, work eight hours, punch out, drive home, supper, etc.
But are you prepared for the journey? Jesus may detour your road by a coworker sharing they are facing a divorce and need your support. Jesus may have a student cross your familiar road with the news they are pregnant and want your advice. At any time, that “familiar” road may become a journey.
You may know the road but only Jesus knows the journey!