Do you like adventures? A friend asked this yesterday. It’s a simple question, but it stirred me. I wonder what emotion it evokes for you.
For some of us such a question might make us anxious or even fearful. Some of us need our structures and rhythms and ‘knowns’ in order to make life possible amidst the circumstances of our daily lives. Some of us may have, or have had, enforced adventures where we’ve been powerless to resist. Some of us have now, or have had, perhaps when we were young, so much uncertainty in our daily lives that the very idea of ‘adventure’ is unsettling to say the least. Others of us, though, might simply be so comfortable with ‘home’ and our certainties that we find it impossible to step out of our comfort zones and so risk missing what God might do in and through us.
Alternatively, for others of us, the whisper of the idea might evoke excitement and anticipation and delight. We might jump at the chance of any adventure, big or small. We might even have such a longing for it that we have to grapple against losing the present because of over-anticipating the future.
However we feel, the Bible so often portrays the Christian life as a journey: an adventure with God. The journey to faith; the journey of discipleship: the adventure of life in Christ.
So how might we deal with the twists and turns and uncertainties that inevitably come in this journey? Especially when we don’t know where it’s going?
In John 14, Jesus begins to tell the disciples that He’s going. We see here a snapshot into their - and our - journey with Jesus which steps out beyond the known and the comfortable and even the comprehensible.
Jesus says, “You know the way to the place where I’m going.” But they don’t understand. “Lord, we don’t know where you are going so how can we know the way?” They’ve committed to following Him. They’ve given up so much already, their whole ‘normal lives’, to invest in the journey beside Him, wherever He’s taken them, whether they understood what He was doing or asking of them or not. They want to be with Him into the future, whatever it holds. But how do they go where they don’t understand. They simply don’t know the way.
The profundity of Jesus’ reply speaks to us too. He doesn’t tell them the specifics of where He - or they - are going. He barely even hints at the circumstances of their journey. Instead, He calls them to Himself. He tells them to be with Him because, simply, “I am the way the truth and the life.”
They ask for specifics of the way. He tells them that all they need to know is Him Himself. The journey is in Him. With Him. And, mysteriously, that in knowing Him, Jesus, they will know the Father. That’s all they need so that’s all He gives them.
Our adventure with Jesus may well be full of twists and turns, uncertainties, lows and highs. But it’s the one journey worth taking above all others and, as such, the safest place to be.
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