Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.
I came across this quote this morning and got to thinking…
Do we live our spiritual lives on the interstate and therefore miss many of the growth opportunities in life?
Getting off the Interstate takes time. Getting off and traveling the backroads can be a confusing experience. Roads are NOT well marked. Some roads are not marked at all. You are bound to run into a farmer on his or her way to market going about 5-10 miles an hour on a section of no-pass highway. And then there are all those towns with the one stop light that you must travel through! Just seems you get up to speed and you are slowing down again.
But…there is no better way to experience an area than the back roads. You get a sense of what the people do for a living and how they spend their time. You see views that you will never get going 75 miles an hour (or so) on the interstate.
Okay. I am not going into too much application about this because I want you to wrestle with this a bit like I am. Do we live our spiritual lives on the Interstate or the back roads? Do we go to church and then try to avoid everything in life that might be a bit messy, or confusing, or even uncomfortable? When was the last time you or I took a detour and went somewhere we haven't been before? When was the last time we served at a place with people who are much different than we are? Do we have any friends who are not believers and who challenge us in terms of their language and actions?
If we answered "no" to most of the above questions, I would suggest that we are spending too much time on the Interstate and not enough on the road that contains the exact people Jesus wants us to minister to. We are missing some of the prime growth opportunities that can lead us into acting and thinking more like Christ. We perhaps fall short of all that God has for us. Will we get to the same place? Yes…but the joy might very well be in the journey just as much as the final destination. Why would we want to miss out on any of the joy in this life?