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FORWARD! "On the Road Again..."

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FORWARD! "On the Road Again..."

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International travel is often very difficult and wearing on your body. Last month I traveled to Asia for 10 days. In that period I traveled about 25,000 miles, an average of 2,500 miles a day.

The plan was to visit congregations and conduct a leadership conference. We traveled to India, Thailand and the Philippines. Because of the route we were traveling, it was critical that we be in certain cities at certain times to catch certain flights. In some cases there was only one flight per day to the cities we needed to visit. We had to stay with the itinerary or our purpose for the trip would not be accomplished.

All the traveling made me think of an old song by Willie Nelson titled "On the Road Again." In this song there is a longing to get back on the road—to travel again. It struck me during this trip that there is a spiritual parallel that can be drawn about traveling and being on the right road or path.

Christ identified two paths. One is the wide way that leads to destruction, and the other is the narrow way that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14 Matthew 7:13-14 [13] Enter you in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: [14] Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it.
American King James Version×
). He admonished us to choose the narrow (the difficult) road. As Christians, we have to admit that life presents many challenges to staying on this narrow road.

We struggle with this continuously. We do well for a while, but then either an attitude or a trial in life takes us off the road or to the side of the road for a while. Without the willingness to at times push ourselves, we end up in the wrong city at the wrong time and are unable to catch the plane that will take us to our desired destination.

Conviction and dedication to God's way of life are incredibly important since every one of us will experience trials that will seem insurmountable and capable of causing us to detour. At times it would be easy to give up and get off the road. A few years ago a member told me that he was just worn out and that he wanted to get off the road and rest for a while. I cautioned him that once you take a break from church and the Christian life, it will be very hard to get back on the road.

It takes effort and an attitude of conviction to get back on the road again once we have experienced a setback. The challenge of Christianity is to stay on the narrow way so that we can arrive at the proper destination.

On this recent trip to Asia, Dave Baker and I made all our appointments, but it required a great effort because it was so difficult and tiring. Willie Nelson described what must be the attitude of every Christian—that in spite of the difficult path and the trials that we will experience along the way, "I can't wait to get on the road again." The road that we must travel is challenging, but the destination (God's Kingdom) will be worth it. UN