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Different Journey

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May 28 in Musings
How many of us have heard that the Christian life is like a journey?  And in any journey there is a beginning and an end as well as some changes that take place between those points.  I often envision a vacation to some foreign country where I partake of the food, culture, and community there; that I am so transformed and enlightened by my experiences there; that when I return home I am no longer the same.  The problem with my idea of a journey is that journeys are not always voluntary nor are they self transformational or revelatory.  Sometimes people are forced to make a journey and sometimes those journeys affect the places that they are headed towards.
Case in point is the migrant caravan that was headed towards the United States in 2018.  Their journey started when they chose to flee from difficult circumstances in their own respective countries in Central America.  It's not exactly a voluntary choice as it was a forced movement to survive.  And once they arrived at the border, it wasn't transformational for them as it was a changing of attitudes and perspectives for those already here in the United States.  Regardless of which side was chosen, people were polarized by their journey here.  Some identified with their journey, and some did not.
           
In the same way, as Christians we tend to identify with those whose journeys resemble our own.  We long for people, who look like us, who think like us, who experience things like us, who act like us.  The problem is that God may lead one person on a journey in one direction and lead another person on a journey in another direction.  As Christ said to Peter in the Gospel of John 21:22 "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!"
           
Following Christ is the beginning, middle, and end of the Christian journey.  For some it may mean coming into a spiritual relationship with Christ.  For others that journey may mean separating one's self from the worldliness and abiding in Christ's teaching.  For others the journey may mean engaging sinners and ministering to them.  For others the journey may mean denying one's self, taking up one's cross, and following Him.  While Christ may be at the center of all these journeys; they are at times at odds with each other.
           
Luke 10:38-42 shows the account of the Lord with Mary and Martha.  Mary was abiding in Jesus' teaching, while Martha was busy serving the Lord.  Martha was disturbed because Mary wasn't doing what Martha was doing.  Martha wanted Mary to follow in her own footsteps. 
           
When we meet other Christians who are "different," do we become polarized?  Do we correct their journey onto our own journey?  Do we respect and point them towards Christ?  "Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you." Philippians 3:15  

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