The Road Less Taken
The last few weeks I have been extremely tired with the birth of my son. Sleepless nights and extreme fatigue have brought my defenses against the enemy lower than usual, but it has also allowed me to ask myself a few questions about my walk with Christ. I know that have not been the best man I can be, in fact, that is one of my daily prayers asking the Lord to make me a better man, for Him, for my wife and children and for those who I have in my sphere of influence.
This morning I read a passage from Philippians 1, from one of my favorite authors Saint Paul:
For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.
I actually and full heartedly found myself saying out loud: I know how you feel, Paul. I have often said I wish to pass from this life and go with Christ, but I am on this earth for two reasons. The first is for me, for I know deep within that God still has work to do in me and the second reason is linked with the first, for the works that the Holy Spirit does within me is for the benefit of the world.
I held my son the other day, and I began to cry. I knew that I could not protect him from the world, and by world I mean to say the people of planet earth. The earth was created perfectly with a grand blueprint from the mind of God as-well-as mankind was created in the image of God, but it was the corruption of Satan that has brought the whole of creation to its knees. Because of one being’s actions, Satan wanted to have the throne of God, he was cast from heaven. Then Satan was jealous of the creation of man and the love that man had from God he deceived us and the action of the first two individuals cause us to have great turmoil and destruction until Jesus returns.
The world is brutal and unwavering in its momentum forward. The world keeps spinning, time keeps going and as time goes on the minds of mankind become more and more decayed as they stray from the goodness of God. The only thing that keeps the world balanced is the love of God. It is unwavering, it is pure and it is what we Christians cling to keep moving forward. That is why I keep getting up every morning. That is why I do not end my own life; it is the love of God that keeps me fueled. I also keep waking up each day and going out into the world so my life can glorify Christ. My actions as a Christian reflect on God. My words reflect Christ. I know I often say things that I really should not say such as, why is my life so bad or why doesn't this thing go my way? Why can’t I get a better job with higher pay? Why can’t I succeed in anything I do in my life? I ask these questions because of my selfishness. I ask these questions because I desire to further myself in this life among the world. If I succeed in this or that am I doing it for the glory of God or my own gain? Saint Paul’s question then becomes relevant does it not? For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. Everything I do, I need to do for Christ. Every action should be for the betterment of the people who surround me.
The passage of St. Paul really made me say to myself today I understand. I exist so that I can glorify my God with my life and my actions. The last few weeks, I have had a certain belief of mine challenged, the belief that should I work on Sunday or not. I have questioned this many times in my life and I have always fought to have one day of rest and one day that I can spend time with God and my family. It is the one day a week where I can go to church and I can truly rest in the Lord. Now the question that was posed in my mind is if I have to work on a Sunday am I dishonoring God? Should I stand up for my beliefs that I should not work on the day where I should be spending time with God, even if it means getting written up for not coming to work or turning down a good job because I may or may not have to work on a Sunday?
We all walk down a road in our lives. We either walk down the narrow road that leads to salvation or the wide road that leads to destruction. In my mind, both roads are on the same path. The path of righteousness that I walk on, or that I attempt daily to walk on, is on the same path as the path of destruction, it is not intertwined with it but it is in the midst of the path of destruction. I know that this may not make sense to anyone, but let me explain myself before anyone condemns my understanding.
Imagine a small winding road going up a massive mountain, this road, let’s say, is the path of righteousness: the road is safe, the road is solid and the road is free from obstacles. On either side of road it has been widened with wide broad shoulders that can be traveled on, it is sometimes safe enough to walk on, but it does have loose rock, fallen trees, and when you get too far over either side there are massive drop offs that can and will lead to your death. The road to destruction is wide, and you must go off the road of salvation to step on it, but when you are on the road to destruction where the road is dangerous the road to righteousness is close by. The path to safety is but a choice and change in direction to get back on to it.
I try hard to keep on the road to salvation, to stay on the path of righteousness and now I am tasked to lead others down that road. Not in only my priesthood strictly, but as a Christian and a Christian husband and father. I know that I often say my priesthood, but really I was ordained in the service of Christ. I was married into the service of Christ. I became the point man for those who I lead down the narrow, small winding road up the mountain to Christ and His truth. And in truth, I often step off the road to salvation and find myself on the path of destruction sometimes daily. I sometimes find myself so far off the path of righteousness that I want my life to end in a selfish and self-centered way. I stand on the edge of the drop off and look over contemplating the bottom of the endless void, and the question I need to ask myself is why?
I try everyday to glorify Christ in my actions and I will try to glorify Him every day until I die. I hope that I can one day shed the chains of darkness that are holding me down and truly serve Him in all holiness and truth. I hope that I can stay on the narrow road of salvation and lead many others to it so they can have the same understanding and experience in Christ as I do. The point man’s work is not to lead others to salvation, but to lead others back to the narrow road and help them find the way to Jesus Christ. My work as a husband and father is to be the head of my household and help my family find the way. My work as a Christian soldier is to draw the sword and take up the shield and fight—until I die.