So what does that mean? I am trying to think about what it really means to be “on the road.”
It could mean, standing on a road, trying to figure out which way to go. To a lot of people it might mean traveling, moving forward, to something good, hopefully. Especially since I subtitled my post, “Walking with Jesus.”
But to walk with Jesus means that when He walks, I walk. When He runs, I run. When He stands still, I have to STAND STILL. To wait. To stare at the road. To look around. To try to figure out why I am here. What does Jesus want me to learn? What am I supposed to do. I want to move ahead. I want to do the right thing. I don’t want to find myself in the wrong place because I started moving before Jesus did.
Can you see that road stretching before you; behind you? What do you see when you look behind you? Do you see the pits and valleys? Do you see the victories? Do you decide to go back? Do you decide that Jesus is worth following? Do I?
What do you see when you look ahead? Do you see the darkness of the unknown? Do you see the promise of Him leading you to where He wants you to go? Do you see and accentuate the negative possibilities, or do you see (or even guess at) the possibilities, and hope that might lie ahead of you? Is the glass half empty or half full? Do I?
When I look at the road, many times I find myself looking at my feet… stalled in the dirt of the road, scuffed, battered, hurting and weary. All I want to do is just sit down there in the dust and give up. I am so tired I just don’t even have the strength to stand. I see the cliffs rising high above me on either side of the road, and realize that I when Jesus moves, I have 3 choices.
1. I can get going and move with Him… hoping for better, hoping for healing.
2. I can sit down and stay where I am… despairing of seeing anything but these looming dark cliffs.
3. I can decide to move away from Jesus… go backwards and walk away from Him.
Any of the ways, the cliffs on either side are impenetrable. I have to go forward, stay, or go backwards. Those are the choices I have to face right now. I feel that Jesus has stopped. Either to give me a break and a rest, and a chance to re-group, or to show me the choices I have before me, or to just get me used to waiting on His timing… to learn to trust that He knows what He is doing.
I feel like giving up and just sitting down and forgetting anything but the weariness of my soul, and spirit, and pain of my heart. I don’t think I am at the point of retreat… into my shell, into the ways I know well… of avoiding pain by building walls. I just want to stop. I don’t want to face the pain of going forward into the healing that I know Jesus is leading me into. I am tired of the battle. I am tired of trying to keep fighting, keep going, when Jesus starts walking again. Maybe this “waiting” that Jesus is doing is because He knows that, so He is pausing on the road to let me get to a point where I am willing to go on again.
I feel that I am in the valley of the shadow of death. I just don’t know what the death is. Is it my will? Is it my willfulness? Is it the death of my sin? Is it the death of all I hold dear? Or am I going to choose to put to death my faith?
I am scared of the choices ahead of me once Jesus decides the time is right to move again. I am afraid of what I will decide to do. I am afraid I will choose to stay stuck… or refuse to follow… or choose to walk away and find another way out of this path, around the cliffs. I am terrified of following Jesus, of walking with Him, because I don’t know what to expect.
I am one of those people that needs to know the next steps. I am anxious and fearful when I don’t know what is going on, so that I at least will be able to make contingency plans, in case something goes wrong. I am afraid to let that control go, and let Jesus have the control. I am afraid to trust.
I am afraid. I am scared.
What do you think when you realize you are on that road? Please share your thoughts with me. It won’t help me make a decision, I know that is between me and God, but it will help me to know that I am not alone on this road. That I am not the only person who is facing these choices. Does anyone else feel that they are faced with these choices right now? Please share with me… because right now, I feel so alone; so isolated.
And that is not a good place to be.