Life has been described in many ways by poets and scribes and philosophers and seers. All seem to agree that one of the ways to think about life is as a journey. On a journey, one begins at a certain place and ends up, possibly, in another. One begins a journey with a certain amount of baggage, or a lack thereof, and ends up with either more or less. There are sights to be seen and people and places and things to be experienced and things to do. Obstacles and challenges are met along the way. All of these things, and more, shape our character and transform us, for either good or bad, in one way or another, as we travel down the highways and byways of life.
The Bible teaches that if life is a journey, then our path must take us on a course that leads higher and upward. Heaven is our goal. Abraham confessed that he was but a stranger and pilgrim in the earth, seeking a country which lay beyond the borders of this mundane globe and which bore the landmarks of a higher plane, for he “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:13-16). It is a far better city and far better country than this old world has to offer and it is in the kingdom that cannot be moved (Heb. 12:28).
That city is a wondrous place where the streets are of transparent gold and its twelve gates are each of singular pearls and the whole of it like precious jewels, clear as crystal. It is a place where death and pain, sorrow and crying and tears and sin no longer molest the righteous soul and all things are new and bright (Rev. 21:4,5). That city shines with a wondrous glow that comes from being bathed in the glorious light of God’s holy Presence (Rev. 21:11).
There are many roads to travel in this life that lead to many destinations. Some of these places may be pleasant and even noble in and of themselves, but they can never be our final destination. There is only one way to the Heavenly City. All other roads lead to perdition and destruction. The way of man is not in him, it is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps (Jer. 10:23). That one Way is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Way and the only way to the Father (John 14:6).
The way to that heavenly country is straight and narrow and, sadly, few there be that find it (Matt. 5:). If you find yourself on a path in life that is busy and well traveled, bustling with the restless and noisy crowd, rest assured you are on the wrong path. It may be a smooth path, with no hills or hardships and it may offer every kind of comfort and excitement that this present world can offer, but it is most assuredly the wrong path. Jesus said the path that leads to heaven is straight and narrow and frought with challenges and dangers. That is why there are relatively very few that find it.
On any journey, especially a long one, it is possible to get lost. Sometimes we take a wrong turn and head down the wrong road. We can easily loose sight of our goal if we are not careful and diligent. It is very hard in such cases to admit that we have lost our way. It takes humility and courage to admit that one is lost and strength and honor to turn around and get back on the right path. Sometimes we must stop and get our bearings and maybe even ask for directions.
There are some, however, who never intend on following the straight and narrow path. They want the excitement and fascination of the broad, loud, and vulgar way that can only lead to destruction. They want to travel every back alley and sample the wares of every dive. They are bewitched by the dazzling shows and the flickering lights of the demons of the broad way. Their eyes are shut and their ears closed and their hearts hardened to the dangers that lie before them and to the warnings offered by those who have traveled that way before only to find empty promises and heartaches. And in the end, eternal death.
So as you journey through this life, chose wisely which road you follow. Keep your eye on the goal. Stay alert. Watch and pray. Follow the highway called the Way of Holiness (Is. 35:8). Call on the Father Who will judge every man according to his works and pass the time of your sojourning here in fear (I Pet. 1:17). “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (I Pet. 2:11).
Eric L. Padgett