You Are Where You Are
One thing that we have learned and continue to learn is that on this journey of the narrow path “you are where you are”. Like a map at most large shopping malls, the whole map is displayed and somewhere there is an arrow that simply states “You are here”. It may seem like a very simple and even silly thing to dwell on, “of course I am where I am, it’s where I am” (don’t dwell too hard on it, as it can get your brain spinning in circles and eventually fizzles out at “hold on a second…….what if I’m not where I am?”).
“You are where you are”. It’s a simple statement that offers perspective. Not just on my present whereabouts on this journey, but also on where I have come from and ultimately, where I am going. Because while we are always where we are, that position should always be advancing toward Christ. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”, Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV). We have been called on this journey by a loving Father who is longing for us to come back home, and is not only calling, but is also there to guide us back, if we would follow Him.
As I type this and dwell on it a bit more, I get a picture of myself on a path with Jesus, shining like a lamp. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path”, Psalm 119:105 (NIV). In every direction, it is pitch black, outside of where the light is shining. Like a child, my questions come often, “where are we?”, “where are we going?”. The answer comes in a quiet patient voice, “We are going home and as for where we are, we are Together”. “What’s out there?” asking about the darkness in all directions around the path. “Separation”, is the response. Separation is in all directions if I stray too far; front, back, left, right. For this illustration it makes sense to me that both Together and Separation are places. They are locations that our spirit can exist in, in relation to the Holy Spirit. "Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me" John 15:4 (NIV)
There are so many things that hit me as I think about this. Abiding in the vine, running the race, and how narrow a path it is. “You are where you are”, but that’s not where you are meant to stay. God is so incredibly gracious that he walks us down the path in steps, like a Father would. As a parent who has watched 2 kids learn how to walk, it gives me an example of how God is gracious. As a newborn, He doesn’t expect us to run. We start to crawl, it’s slow, but it builds the foundation and muscle that will eventually lead us to full mobility. Then we take our first steps, He’s excited and is there to catch us as we fall. Pretty quickly, we are steady on our feet and are walking without help, but He remains close. Then we have the ability to run with Him when it is time. The amazing thing is that when we are learning to walk and run, even though we may not notice it, we are also learning to recognize His voice and trust His instructions.
The path is narrow and the darkness is deep, but His light is strong and pure. Strive to abide in the light, which means moving with the light, so when the question comes, “where are we?” We know the answer is “Together”.