Travel Plans

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2 KJV).

I shared the familiar hymn “I Feel Like Traveling On” in my last post. Today, I want to talk about our spiritual journey and how easily we can get off track.

The Power of One Degree

Several years ago, my brother shared the story The Power of One Degree Course Correction. The spiritual aspect of that story stuck with me. I want to share part of it here today. (You can find the article at tandemfinancial.co.uk.)

In 1979, a passenger jet with 257 people aboard left New Zealand for an aerial view of Antarctica. However, the pilots were unaware of a minor 2˚ error in the flight coordinates, which placed the plane 28 miles east of their intended route. As they approached their destination, the pilots descended to a lower altitude, giving the people a better view of the landscape. Both pilots were experienced, but neither one had made this flight before. They had no way of knowing the 2˚ error had placed them in the path of Mount Erebus, an active volcano. Unfortunately, everyone died in the plane crash.

In air navigation, there is a 1 in 60 rule. That means for every 1˚ a plane veers off course, it misses the destination by 1 mile for every 60 miles traveled. The farther you travel, the farther you are from your intended target.

One foot traveled with a 1˚ error will put you 0.2 inches from your destination. That may not seem like much. But you must remember the farther you travel, the farther you move away from your target. A trip around the equator with a 1˚ error will get you 500 miles off course. Whether it is 0.2 inches or 500 miles, 1˚ makes a difference when aiming for a target.

Why do I share this story? Because when traveling, we have a destination in mind and a roadmap to get us there. As children of God, heaven is our destination, and the Bible is our roadmap. It was—is given to help us remain on the right track. A slight miss or a significant miss is still a miss! And that takes me to my next point.

The Power of the Word

Have you seen the social media reels of people demonstrating how to use BPA-free snackle boxes when planning an outing? The plan is to pack a little bit of everything like cheese, olives, carrot sticks, fruits, nuts, and a treat. I thought about this new fad while pondering this post. We should pack good things to snack on too. But here’s the thing. The Bible isn’t a charcuterie board. We can’t arrange, rearrange, or choose just the “feel good stuff” if we want to grow into a healthy mature Christian. As with our physical diets, our spiritual diets much be balanced. Not every Scripture is easily swallowed. But all is given by the inspiration of God.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV). 

And that brings me to another point.

Read and search the Scriptures for yourself. Pray about everything.

As travelers, we must stay on guard and regularly check our coordinates to ensure we are not being led astray by others. Too, we must never “think” of ourselves as experts. We have never traveled this way before. Our coordinates must come from the Bible because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. We’re human, and we make mistakes. Thank goodness, the Lord knows how and where to lead us. Let us hold the “roadmap” before our face, adjust our coordinates when needed, pray constantly, look to the author and finisher of our faith, and keep traveling on.

Blessings on your travels!

Pictures courtesy of Dorothe and No-longer-here from pixabay.com

There Is a Season

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Seasons of Life

I’ve been blogging for six years! Can you believe it? And I still struggle with how to share what’s going on in my life. If you haven’t guessed, I’m a private person. Some may even call me a hermit. But when I created this blog, I knew sharing was a necessary part of building friendship.

It’s not that I don’t want to share with my friends. I love my friends, so why shouldn’t I want to share with them?

Truth be told, it’s not about the sharing but the caring. I love my life. It’s not an exciting one, but it’s who I am and what I do. Still, I struggle with why anyone would care about what I do? Do you ever wonder that, or is it just me?

Funny thing, when I notice someone has disappeared on a blog or social media, I immediately wonder if they’re sick. Why don’t they let us know what’s going on? 😊 For the record, I love reading about what ever one else is doing. Lol! Anyway, I’ve been absent lately, and I thought I should share what is going on.

Most of you know my daughter had Covid last month. It took several weeks for the household to bounce back from the no sleep, high-alert, and endless days and nights. Thankfully, everyone is beginning to feel like themselves. What we didn’t realize was the following weeks would bring permanent changes to our lives.

Before we closed the books on August, I lost six people in my life. Three friends and three family members. Two from Covid. Four from various health and age related problems. One was my aunt who was like a mother/sister to me. It’s been an emotional whirlwind for the past seven weeks. And let me tell ya, I’m tired.

For the past three weeks, we’ve sorted through personal documents and belongings, relived memories, and gotten reacquainted. We’ve cried, mourned, and laughed. The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us there is a season for everything. And just like the writer mirrors the opposites in the same sentence, this season has been a sad and hopeful one. Sad because of our loss. Hopeful because it’s not the end. It’s not goodbye.

To all the family and friends, we’re praying for you.

Heaven and Earth

Earth whispers, “Farewell.”

Witnessing a departure.

Heaven shouts, “Hello.”

Welcoming an arrival.

Until then,

We wait.

© 2009 Gail Johnson

Announcement

Please join me next week when Stephanie Daniels will be sharing her latest book and talking about Kindle Vella! Y’all, I love this story.

Sagging Middles

Once upon a time...Fairy tales often begin with once upon a time, but the tale doesn’t stop there. It can’t. A story ends well if we find the answer to one question…

And then what happened?

Without that question, we have no plot. And there must be a plot. The plot drives the story forward. Right?

But here’s where our story differs from the fiction we read and write. Our stories have sagging middles. And I don’t mean I-quit-doing-my-sit-ups sagging middles. The sagging I refer to is the endless waiting, circuitous wandering middle.

It’s during these middles we, as doers, feel helpless because the forward movement has stopped. There is no action. Or is there?

We fail to comprehend this new plot twist because we’re not the author of our stories. The Master storyteller holds the pen, and He knows the exact pace needed to accomplish the character arc He desires.

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:3-4 KJV

Truth: Sometimes we need a sagging middle to move us forward.

The Lord alone knows how to structure our story to bring us to a delightful ending.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 KJV

He has made the needed provisions for our salvation, and He’s making the necessary revision in our lives. Hence, the sagging middle. Hang in there. We can and will finish strong if we yield to His hand.

Another fact to rejoice over is our Lord never suffers from writer’s block! He has known the end of our stories from the beginning.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

As writers we understand, only the Author who knows the ending can finish the story. And He alone will finish the story. May we all allow Him to write His story upon our hearts.

Who’s writing your story?

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