A journey of starts and stops

Sometimes it's good to think about life in our time-driven culture

Lately I’ve begun to appreciate the journey of life more. Maybe it has something to do with turning 50! As part of that appreciation, I’ve begun reflecting on the journey itself a bit more.

In our time-driven culture there is sometimes the sense that life is this random and senseless run-away train.

What we sometimes forget, though, is that life isn’t a stream-of-consciousness continuum, but rather a journey of starts and stops, joys and sorrows, decisions and indecisions.

It would do us (it would do me) well to take a bit more time in the processing and remembering and celebrating.

Once when Jesus was traveling from one village to another, ten fellows with leprosy called out to him from a distance.

The account in Luke 17 in the Bible relates how all of them were healed, totally cleansed from their disease.

Leprosy has painful physical, psychological and social manifestations.  It starts with a tingling sensation which gradually develops into localized paralysis. In the course of time this paralysis prevents the passage of blood to the extremities and so the body begins to decompose.

Ten lepers had been healed by Jesus, had experienced the mercy of God and went on their way. Only one returned to thank Him.

Now, based on the little we know about leprosy, you would think that all ten of them would be going bananas. You would think that they would be bursting with thanks for a new lease on life.

Such was not the case.

This incident seems to be recorded to illustrate a simple truth — God is present to heal and give new life. Are we willing to acknowledge that and give thanks?

All around us is evidence of God’s eternal power and goodness, but we so often don’t acknowledge Him.

Creation itself declares the presence of God. Family and friends, and the gift of love are from the hand of God.

Some say, “Oh, I believe in God, but is no need to get fanatical about it.”

Quite frankly, I don’t know how we can’t be excited about and thankful to the one who gives us the very air we breathe. If you do believe, live a life of thanksgiving and celebration.

Others say, “Yes, perhaps there’s a god, but if so He wants us to stand on our own two feet — after all He helps those who help themselves.”

Try telling that to those ten lepers!

If belief in god is a crutch, it’s certainly a crutch well-needed.

I’m thankful that He wants us to depend on Him — He’s so much bigger and wiser and merciful than I am.

I’ve resolved to take more time to consider the goodness of God.

Like the returning leper, I’ve discovered that there is hope and purpose in the journey and that God really does care.

For that I give thanks.

 

 

 

 

— Brian Robertson is a pastor at the Christan Fellowship Centre in Qualicum Beach.