College was 5 hours away. Going to my parent's alma mater was a good thing. But it was always a chore driving back home. So for Seminary, I thought I would head up to Chicago, 11 hours away. Now driving home is really a chore.
I have spent a lot of hours driving alone in the car. Music blasting, snacks within reach, podcasts ready to go when my mind needs more than a beat to keep it moving. Only a few times have I missed an exit, or gone the wrong way. But I have always gotten to my destination; and usually in good time too.
Sometimes life mirrors those road trips. Though instead of 700 miles in the car, it's a 7 month internship. Instead of arriving to a destination, at the end you're dumped off on the side of the road, unsure of where you are and where you will be.
The last two days I spent with some good friends from Seminary. I got to hear of their lives and where God is taking them. Eventually, the question was turned on my professional road. "It sucks" was the short answer. I'm on a road trip without a map, without a destination, without snacks.
Monday night Ephrem Smith talked about being on the road. He told the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus from Luke 24:13-35. These two post-crucifixion disciples were approached by a man who inquired about what they were talking about. They began to tell him of the crucifixion and the supposed resurrection. The man with them explained to them how it had been prophecied so. When they sat down to dinner that night, the man with them broke the bread, and then they realized that this was not just a man, but it was their resurrected Lord Jesus. He had been with them on that road.
Not only had he been with them though, he had gone ahead of them.
He went ahead to the Cross. In so doing, he paid the price for their sin and brought restoration between the creation and their Creator.
He went ahead to the Resurrection. In doing so, he entered into the life that they were promised.
He went ahead to the Table. In doing so, he gave them sustainence for their journey so that they may be strengthened as they continue on their road.
He didn't leave them either, as we might think the story ends. The last three verses tell of how the disciples returned to Jerusalem to the eleven. They found companions for their journey. And not only did they have fellowship with one another, but the Spirit came to be with them also, as we read in the beginning of Acts.
As much as it may not seem to be, I am not on this road alone. Even as I sit in this church building with nothing but the Fleet Foxes and the hum of the lights, I am not alone. I have the church body, not the church building, to journey with me. I have the Spirit who guides me. I have the Word which sustains me.
So I continue on this road, knowing that there is a destination that I am headed toward, even if I don't see where that is. I continue on this road knowing that others are on it with me. I continue on this road, because Jesus has gone down this road and I know I will meet him at the end, if not also all the stops on the way.