People On The Journey

Yesterday I started the metaphor of Advent as a journey. Unlike a preacher outlining an entire sermon series six months prior, I just began with an image and a word.

Then I realized that most of the people in the world have heard of the myth of the settling of the American west. You know, covered wagons, cowboys, fighting with the native inhabitants to take their land, farmers and ranchers “taming a hostile land”.

Those wagon trains leaving St. Joseph, Missouri heading across the plains and the mountains for wealth and a new life in California encompassed people with a number of roles. Each of which can be a metaphor for people on this advent journey.

There were the scouts. They had been there before. Most likely they spoke the languages of some of the native inhabitants. They were skilled at picking out the best trail where wagons could go. They were also skilled at sensing danger and warning the rest. Their wants were simple. They sought the adventure of discovery and journey.

We had the Boss. The Master. He was the organizer and manager. He had been there. Perhaps he was former Army. He knew how to keep the rookies going. Alternately prodding and counseling. Shepherding resources. Organizing defenses when the train was attacked. The people had to trust him completely.

There were the pilgrims. They left a way of life that did not satisfy their souls and needs. They dreamed of a better life somewhere else. But they couldn’t do it on their own. They gathered into a community. Hired someone with experience to guide them and scouts to find the way. Some made it to the end. Some stopped along the way. Some made it.

Where are you in this journey? Why are you here? Are you in the right role? Do you lust for the wrong role? I always wanted to be the Boss. In reality, I’m a scout.

All roles are valid. The important thing is to be in the right one at the right time.

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