Today’s Reading: John 17:13-14 (NIV)
13 [Jesus said,] “I am coming to You now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them Your Word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.”
Family vacations were great adventures. We took two vacations each year; one to see my grandparents in Mississippi, and one to see the United States. There were two places where my father refused to travel; to the Northeast and to California. I think he was not wild about having to deal with the traffic in large cities like New York or Los Angeles. Yet, he took us down many of the highways in the continental US. We saw Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Pikes Peak from the car windows of my father’s Chevrolet automobile. We camped in the Wisconsin Dells, walked parts of the Katy Trail, and went mountain climbing in the Smokeys. We saw the Gulf Coast, and crossed the Canadian border a couple of times from Michigan. We traveled through a lot of cities and towns, but never stayed for more than a day or two. He put a lot of miles on his car, and we crossed the states we visited off our US map when we returned home.
Daddy was always in a hurry. If the speed limit was set at 70 miles per hour, he was traveling 90. We blew a tire on the I-70 race track in Denver. I thought for sure we were going to wreck. Daddy was angry because the repair forced us to stay overnight in a Denver hotel, which he thought was far too much money for a family of four to spend. But, oh, how I remember waking up underneath that crisp mountain air, and enjoying a cup of hot chocolate on the veranda with my Father the next morning. I could have stayed there forever; it was such a beautiful place. To pass the long hours in the car, I would often fall asleep and miss some of the beautiful scenery passing me by. My parents would become agitated at the children for not staying awake and paying better attention along the way.
As beautiful as this world is, I have known for a long time that I am just passing through. This is not my home; nor is it yours. We are here for such a short time; and there is so much to see and experience. Have you fallen asleep out of boredom or fatigue? Are you missing out on the beauty of community as you travel down life’s highway?
Yesterday, I stood on the balcony of the Islamic Foundation’s Mosque in St. Louis, and prayed with my Muslim brothers and sisters during their afternoon prayers. They had come to honor Allah with their lives in worship. I understand it is their deep desire to please Him above all else. They recognize that this world is only a pit stop; they are passing through, and it is their heart’s desire to know and submit to the will of God in all they say and do here on earth.
Jesus knew that we are no more of this world than He was of this world. He was going home; it had been a short but well-lived life in the presence of His Father. One day, we will return to the place from whence we came. Have you found the One you are seeking, while you are passing through?
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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