Stay on the Way

ScriptureJohn 14:1-6 (NRSV) “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may also be. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Reflection: With our belongings tightly packed into a 17′ U-Haul and our car hitched to the back of the truck, I followed dad, mom, and Maye as they drove ahead of me in the lead car. We were heading from Nacogdoches in northeast Texas southward toward the Rio Grande Valley after my graduation from college. The plan was simple. I was to keep dad’s car within my sight for ten long hours until we arrived at our destination. Nine of the ten hours would be relatively easy following. It was the hour following dad through Houston that caused the most concern. 

I knew that driving a slow 17′ moving truck with a car hitched to the back of it would not be easy to maneuver in fast-moving five-lane Houston traffic filled with anxious and impatient drivers. Just as I had anticipated, I quickly began to lose sight of dad’s car when we reached the north side of Houston as faster and more nimble vehicles merged into my lane. Within a few minutes, I had completely lost sight of dad’s car. Cell phones were nonexistent, so communication was not possible. Although I lost sight of the lead car, I was not lost. I stayed and kept following south Highway 59 until I drove past the south side of Houston and, seven hours later, to my destination. 

Jesus promises his disciples that he is going ahead of them to prepare a place for them so they can be with him where he is. Thomas quickly reacts with concern. He wonders how he can continue to follow Jesus and get to the place Jesus promises if he does not know where Jesus is going. He says, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus promises Thomas that those who acknowledge his claim upon their lives as Lord, stay on and walk in his ways will find their way to God, their ultimate destination. He reminds Thomas that to know him is to know and see God. 

It’s easy to lose sight of God and where we are ultimately headed when life gets chaotic and crowded with concerns, when it slows down to a crawl, and when we’re pulling heavy loads that weigh us down. We tend to get so focused on all that is going on around us that we lose vison of where we are ultimately going. It is in times of disorientation and distraction that the promises of Christ are like signposts along our journey, keeping us stayed on the road of faith, continuously leading us to know and see God, our ultimate destination.   

This Mother’s Day, we remember and are grateful for all the ways our mothers and mother figures in our lives cared for, guided, and encouraged us to stay on the good way and keep moving forward in life when we lost sight of where we were heading. We realize when we get to our destination and look back, that our mothers and mother figures have accompanied us along life’s journey through their teachings, prayers for us, and love. 

Take some time today and give thanks to God for all the mothers and mother figures that have helped you stay on the way, and that have guided and blessed your life with their teachings, their prayers, and their love. 

Prayer: Christ our way, our truth, our life, and our faithful keeper of ultimate promises, we thank you that you never lose sight of us, even when we lose sight of you. Amen.

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