The road appeared rugged and unsafe, and absolutely too narrow for more than one car. However, my daddy insisted we take the adventurous drive over the mountain. Now, my mother wished for other less dangerous options, like a flat and paved road.
My twin sister, Melody was thrilled with the drop off outside our station wagon. Thrilled with the incline. Thrilled to be in danger.
However, I shuddered and lost any sense of feeling in my legs. We were eleven after all, and I hoped to live through the day. To become a grownup one day. But at that moment, I wasn’t too sure how the drive might end.
The view to my right offered a canyon reaching to the other side of the world. I bent my head out the opened window, not sure why, and cringed with each glance. A part of me wanted to see the view, but the other part felt like hiding.
See, our day outings with my daddy were often filled with the unexpected. He did love fried chicken and burgers. It was not uncommon for daddy to dig in the sand, tossing a match to the charcoal. And this would become his grill for the picnic.
One time, my sister stepped on a coal that must have gotten left behind in the soil, her burning skin a reminder of how fast a picnic can go awry. Or how fast daddy would take a new route home from the river, to seek the scenic. But his choices came with potential loss. Or car crashes!
Smoldering Taste on the Road
I’m reminded how Paul and Barnabas in the Bible took missionary trips sharing the gospel. And how on one trip, John Mark left them and returned home. It must have left a smoldering taste in Paul’s heart, because a few years later when the two men planned another trip to visit with those they’d ministered to, Barnabas longed to take Mark. But not Paul.
And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. ~~ Acts 15: 36-41 ESV
The sharp disagreement caused the two men of God to part ways. Paul joined Silas. And Barnabas joined Mark. Now, Paul being the principled man had his valid points. As for Barnabas, I do love how he gave Mark another chance to journey in obedience to the Lord. And Barnabas took the risk of being an encourager for Mark. And they continued in ministry.
Don’t Stop Moving on the Road for the Lord
In life, roads are twisted and long, and come with views we miss by returning home, by not following through with our walk to God. Instead, we may allow mountains of doubt, worry, or unresolved issues in life to send us packing.
So as you read this post, we did live through the treacherous drive over the mountain, making the twists and turns, and I watched pieces of the road fall like broken clay off the mountain.
And even though, the tension in our car was thick, I am reminded that my mom had her view. And my daddy had his view.
Now this story about Paul not taking Mark with him does come full circle later on. Because in 2 Timothy 4, we read how Paul requests for **Mark to be brought to him, because he is very useful to him in ministry**.
That does my heart good. Because in life, we may desert someone. We may part ways. We may have valid points. And he or she may also have valid points. And we may even have a sharp disagreement.
Ride the Road with God
But regardless of how life unfolds with others, our walk with Christ does not need to waver. Sure, we can learn. Grow. Obey. We need to trust God to reveal to us how to walk in truth and love as we drive over the mountains of our past, and serve the Lord in our life. We can move ahead and give the Lord glory, too.
For God is our refuge. He is the One bringing us safely into the family. And with Him, the view is perfect! And yes, the risk is worth it all!
And sometimes, you need to stick your head out the window to see the canyon of hope outside the confines of where you sit. And you need to allow the breeze of hope to flow by as you move forward with joy, with peace, and with purpose. Because on any given moment, the next step may leave a burn. And you will need to draw near to God to conquer the pain!