Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 2:6 (NLT)
Have you read “Pilgrim’s Progress” recently? That venerable tome written by John Bunyan was first published in the 17th Century as a result of time spent in Bedford jail in England and, apart from the Bible, became the best-selling book in publishing history.
In “Pilgrim’s Progress” Christian leaves the City of Destruction in a perilous journey to the Celestial City. As long as he obeys his guides, remembers the teachings, and holds to the path, he escapes the dangers inherent along the way. When he becomes distracted, he finds himself beset by any number of disturbances that cause him great grief and, occasionally, great pain. But there is always help for him.
Even though written hundreds of years ago, the path for pilgrims is still the same. Distractions abound and temptations surround the Christian. Just as the Pilgrim made progress by keeping to the path, by obeying those things he had been taught, and by keeping his focus on the Celestial City and the King, we can successfully negotiate the narrow way. We have a Guide who can be trusted, and experience should teach us the merits of listening to him rather than formulating our own direction.
Let us take advantage of this upcoming New Year to learn and become more astute in recognizing distractions as a danger to our growth and advancement. And we can set our sights on the high calling in Christ Jesus who has promised always to be with us and to lead us home.
Take time to read (or re-read) Bunyan’s classic. It will affirm, encourage, and inspire you. And you very well may identify with some of the characters and much of the journey.
Father, thank you for those who have gone before us and who share their wisdom with those who follow. May we do the same. AMEN.