My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (John 10:27, N.K.J.V.)
During my teenage years I ran around a lot with my friend, Jerry Willis. Jerry had a 1970 Chevy Nova Super Sport muscle car with a 350/300 horsepower engine. Man, that was a sweet ride.
Jerry is one of the funniest people that I’ve ever met and we had some good times, but there was one thing about him that was a constant: When you got into the car with him, you never knew just exactly where he’d be taking you. Oh, sure, you’d get to where you were supposed to be going: the ball field, the restaurant, the concert, town to do some cruising, etc. What you didn’t know is what other stops Jerry would be working in along the way.
It always started with him saying, “We’ve got one stop to make along the way.” Or he might say, “I need to pull in here for just a minute.” Sometimes he’d say, “We’ve got a few minutes to kill so we might as well run by….” And there I was, in the passenger’s seat, helpless. Sometimes I objected by saying something like, “No, I don’t have time to do that.” Such objections were always nullified by the comeback, “Oh, what else have you got to do?” And I always went along with him. I understood that it was the price of riding with Jerry.
In the years since, I’ve learned that walking with Jesus can be like riding with Jerry. Yes, Jesus is taking me someplace, but He very rarely uses a point A to point B approach to get me there. When He says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me,” it implies two things. First, He has His sheep on the move. Second, He provides scant few instructions for how He will get them there.
Today’s g.p.s. systems are designed to get us to our destinations via the shortest route possible. If there is one thing I know about Jesus it’s that He isn’t very interested in the shortest route possible. You see, we’re all about the destination. He, on the other hand, is more concerned about the development we acquire as He takes the long way to get us to the destination.
And why is this? It’s because Jesus knows that delays and detours build patience and perseverance. They also give us experience, which in turn helps us acquire wisdom. So the next time that you feel like Jesus is taking way too long to get you to where He is taking you, just remember that He values the journey itself every bit as much as the arrival at the destination. Now, if I can just get Him to let me do my traveling in a 1970 Super Sport Nova.