Gearing up for the journey

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The other day my family and I were heading back from Albuquerque to our home in Aztec. We decided to take a detour up to the Valles Caldera. We had never been there before, and our kids are fascinated with volcanos, so it looked like a fun detour.

After we got done with our short-lived exploration jaunt we had a decision to make: Go back the way we came to get to the highway or go up and over the mountain to get to Cuba – another half hour north of where we left the highway.

It was getting late in the day, and I had never driven the road before, but there were signs showing that the road did, in fact, make it all the way to Cuba. It looked like a scenic drive, but we had to make a choice.

I spoke with a park ranger at the Visitor Center – who offered no information whatsoever – and we decided to risk the trip up and over. There was snow on the ground, but if the road was paved the whole way it wouldn’t be a problem for my car to get through. Oh yeah, we were in my car not my four wheel drive rig.

We had to make the decision to journey out on this adventure. It was a conscious choice, and we were ready for whatever may come.

I’ve got to say I was nervous. There were patches of snow on the ground, but the drive was very beautiful. After a while, however, we ran out of concrete. A dirt road in the early stages of winter covered partially in snow and partially in mud really concerned me. Nevertheless, we trudged forward.

We took the next 13 or so miles slowly and deliberately. There were times that I had planned out just who I’d call if we got stuck because the ruts in the mud were deeper than the clearance our car allowed. In many places the snow covered the road and flocked the trees. It was beautiful, but it was also dark, which made visibility much worse.

We made it to Cuba. Overall it was a very uneventful drive except for my black car becoming a reddish brown color. I’d do it again in a heart beat – as long as I had my truck.

It reminded me, however, of our journey as Christians. You may or may not have begun your journey with Christ. You may have heard that it is difficult and there’s not much chance of succeeding. You may not feel worthy of such a journey or up to the challenge due to personality quirks or past mistakes or baggage.

Once you begin the journey you see that it truly is an adventure. There is much beauty, but there is also chance of great danger as you live boldly with the One who called you by his grace. There is serious risk to relationships, social status, family bonds, and even your life. Yet, the reward is totally worth it.

You have been called to embark upon this journey. It is one that will require you to be all in. Your head MUST be in the game or you will fall as a casualty. You must keep moving forward. Jesus said it this way:

“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Have you begun the journey? Don’t fret, and don’t yearn for the life you’ve given up for the One who gives eternal life. Are you still trying to decide? It’s totally worth it. You can make it. Jesus has already bought your ticket. He will always be there when you fall to help you back up again. And when you begin, don’t give up.

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About Johnathan Dobbs

I'm a Christian first. I'm a husband and father second. Then I am an avid outdoorsman (hiking, camping, climbing, canoeing, fishing, etc...). Right now, I have a passion for climbing and card tricks. I am the minister for the Aztec church of Christ in Aztec, NM. I look forward to meeting new people and hearing from all. View all posts by Johnathan Dobbs

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