Your Life is a Journey.
Congratulations; now, you’re leaning into the macro dimensions of your life. The big picture is about your ultimate outcomes. But when you leave that philosophical conversation… you find yourself alone again, returning to your daily pursuits.
Daily Pursuits are those often-mundane activities that begin and end within day-sized blocks of time. Any given day’s collection may seem inconsequential, but – when aggregated, over time – they become the story of your life. In the most practical sense, they form the evidence of what your life’s journey is really about.
Life is a Journey? That’s Sunday’s outline. Daily Pursuits? That’s Monday’s challenge. There’s no creativity required for the everyday rituals; just fall in line with everyone else. Paul’s caution to the big-city Christians in Rome was clear and confrontive: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2).
Last week, we challenged an image that seems excellent: your Journey could actually take you to church… and then leave you there. Continuing the metaphor, church involvement – over time – can become a virtual traffic-circle with repetitive experiences (worship services) and education (Bible studies) that were more valuable to you in the past than they seem to be in the present. With no offramp offered for people whose Journey is ready for the Path of Life – the pursuit of your unique Kingdom role in which your eternal value can be maximized – another trip around-the-circle loses its luster.
Consider it spiritual adolescence… and a quagmire that can trap you short of your necessary objective of spiritual maturity. Paul described his own sense of that twilight zone, on the way to holiness but short of the goal: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it… What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (Romans 7:15-20, 24).
Caught in the conundrum: great intentions to do right in the morning, and great convictions about doing wrong in the evening. Prayer for forgiveness clears the conscience for another night’s sleep, and then the next day continues the compromise. What’s the solution?
If you really were made for more… it changes your Daily Pursuits. The Gift of Life is the crucial starting point, but the way forward in your life’s Journey is the Path of Life. The map for the Path isn’t in the back of your Bible… it is your Bible. Early growth in faith happens in and through church… but often ends there, unless you take your eternal responsibilities to heart and chart a course toward finding and fulfilling your Kingdom Calling. It’s on you to figure that out.
Current surveys of values and lifestyles in the American culture plot little difference between Christians and nons. The first major milestone in the Path of Life is LifeMastery: aligning Personal, Family and Professional pursuits with the timeless directives already in place – given by God, to us for counsel – and necessary to ultimately be worthy of the personalized revelations about the Road Less Traveled: LifeMission.
Life at the Macro Level. I hope you’ve been taking these weekly conversations to heart… you?