We had been driving for hours. We were somewhere in north east Canada. Most of the time we have been on smoothly paved, wide highways. The drive was easy with no bumps to speak of.
We made a last second decision to exit the smoothly paved highway and follow the signs to the world’s longest covered bridge. Not because we cared that much to see the bridge, but more because we were looking for something different. Something off the beaten path.
We found the bridge. Eh. Not impressive. But since we had already ventured off the main road, we decided that we were going to take a different route the rest of the way to our destination.
We began to drive on narrow, back roads, rough and full of potholes. But the scenery, oh the scenery. It was breathtaking. Entire fields of yellow, canola growing in mass. Hills rising and falling. Creeks running along side the back country roads.
Here’s the thing, one road was smooth, wide, easy to navigate. The other road was bumpy, narrow, more difficult to maneuver a car over. But both roads led to the same place. The destination was the same, the path to get there was different. The destination is Heaven. The roads, this life we live here on earth.
You look at some people and they seem to be on the wide, smooth road. Not too many potholes, maybe a slow down here and there, but mostly wide open highway as they cruise through life.
Then there’s others. Maybe you. You feel like you’re on the narrow back road. The one with all the bumps. The road that causes damage to your car because there are so many potholes.
You feel like you are going in the same direction as everyone else, it’s just that your path is never smooth. You go from one hardship to the next. You are following the map, making the right decisions, but the potholes still appear.
If you feel like this is you, driving your life on the narrow, hole filled back roads, take heart.
You are still headed in the right direction. Just because the road is rough doesn’t mean the end destination changes. Just because you feel like you hit curves and bumps, doesn’t mean you aren’t still suppose to keep going.
Just like Dory says “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming”, I’m saying to you, “Just keep driving, just keep driving.”
If your marriage isn’t what you had dreamed and hoped for, just keep driving. God is faithful. His Word will sustain you.
If you struggle with weight, you see your skinny friends and their path seems easy, while yours is a daily battle, just keep driving. You can do this. Don’t give up.
Parenting has thrown you a curveball. It’s not the smooth, easy road you anticipated. Your strong willed child has sent you straight to the curvy, pothole filled road and it’s way harder than you thought it would be. Just keep driving. Keep the destination in mind.
Maybe this road is your career. While you see others achieve greatness and climb the ladder, you go from one job to the next, never gaining traction. Don’t give up, just keep driving. Be faithful to what is right in front of you right now and watch God provide.
Is it finances? Do you feel like it’s one pothole after another with your finances. Just when you think you’re finally ahead, another bill piles on, but just keep driving. Keep handling your money God’s way and be wise with your spending. He promises to provide for our every need.
There is something about those back roads. When you end up on the backroads, don’t focus on the potholes, or how narrow the road it. Focus on all the beauty you find when you are driving the backroads. I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m saying it’s still beautiful. Look for the beautiful. Take pit stops on the side of the road and run in the fields of yellow canola. Grab a handful of wildflowers and stick them in the empty water bottle in your cup holder. Find the mom and pop restaurant that no one but locals know of.
You can’t do those things when you are on the highway.
What I am saying is, your life might be hard right now. It might not feel like there is much reason to keep on going. But there is. Find the good thing amidst the hard things. Focus on those things. Look around you. See the views, find solace in knowing your destination is the same as the person who seems to have it all going well.
Don’t give up, just keep driving.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
The writer of Hebrews knew we would be tempted to be held back by rough roads. He knew we might get discouraged and stop running (or driving for this writing’s analogy).
He knew that if we kept our eyes on the destination, Jesus, we would be able to fun regardless of the road we are on. He even goes so far as to say, “look at Jesus”. He knew the suffering he was facing on the cross, but he was able to endure it because he knew what was ahead. He knew His destination.
If your road seems hard, don’t give up. Don’t be discouraged. Keep your GPS on, your designation in mind, and keep on driving.