Homestake Reservoir. We never arrived.
Driving home from an out-of-town weekend, we took an unexpected turnoff to “go exploring”… but we never traveled far enough down the road to discover the lake’s wilderness beauty.
In addressing the Corinthian church, Paul wrote, ” Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win….therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air…” (I Cor. 9:24-27, NAS)
Our many reasons for not continuing on to Homestake were solid: we hadn’t planned on taking the “detour”, so we hadn’t filled our gas tanks; we didn’t know how much farther down the road the lake was, since we had no map; the weather was slightly inclement and we were concerned about an unexpected downpour; we had no extra food in the cars and the kids were already way past their lunch times. In short – we weren’t prepared for an unexpected opportunity, a journey that took us too far beyond our to-and-from path.
Have you ever found yourself on a route you hadn’t expected, a turn where you and He walk together on a stretch of road that’s unfamiliar, or which you had taken great care to avoid? Are you hungry, because your “spiritual man” is way past a meal, or are you uncomfortable about how much longer the road might extend? Has the “inclement weather” of unfortunate circumstances or disappointment dampened your enthusiasm – and you are ready to turn back to the more familiar route? You’re not the only one. I’m not the only one. On these strange, sometimes frightening “detours” we often experience the most spiritual growth because He becomes our primary resource.
There is a partially hidden, understated corollary to this. Not only does He want us to successfully complete whatever course is set before us, but to run it while knowing that our brothers and sisters are being likewise challenged, comforted and encouraged by His Spirit…and although the paths are different, the paths become one in Him. Our western mindsets often infer a contrary “race scenario” that I don’t believe Paul intended: that the competing participants are our own brothers and sisters in the Lord, all trying to “outdo” one another while there is only a single “prize” available from God for the bestest-toughest-fastest-
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10, NAS) We are, indeed, a “body” – but not a body of competitors.
The Lord walks with us down different paths…but we are all linked together in the Spirit, loving like He did, blessing like He did, standing strong like He did….for He does it through us, and with us, a reflection of Jesus’ own prayer: “…that they may be one, even as We are….” (John 17:11, NAS)
Trust Him with the journey you are on. You are not the only one – even on the detours. And don’t bypass that spectacular lake at the end of the road for lack of preparation….