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alice_cheshire

 

 alice_cheshire

 

 alice_cheshire

“Cheshire Puss,” she began,  

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” 

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. 

“I don’t much care where,” said Alice. 

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.1 

 

                                     roadmap

 

We all want maps.  Give us a GPS, and we can find our way anywhere.  Or give us a formula that we can follow, some principles to memorize, and we’ll be okay. 

But there are two problems when we try to apply this to the Kingdom of God. 

First, most of us don’t know where we’re going. 

Second, God doesn’t work that way. 

The good news is that He has the solution to both problems.   

First, the goal is not a place.  We are supposed to be on a journey to become like Him.  That’s the reason we’re on earth. 

Second, He is our Guide.  He wants to direct each step we take—not because He is a control freak, but because God loves us passionately and intimately and, like any lover, wants to be part of everything we do. 

So you won’t find a detailed spiritual map in these messages.  The most you can expect is a kind of broad outline, a series of landmarks.    The purpose is to reveal common elements of unique journeys, thereby enabling us to know the general direction to take, to confirm that we are being guided by the Holy Spirit, to get an idea of our location along the path, and to reassure us that we are still progressing along the right path and in the right direction. 

These messages are for those who  

  are confused because they responded to the Gospel of salvation by grace but have the overwhelming sense that something is missing—maybe even terribly wrong. 

  never have really discovered the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, even if they have heard it; they have raised their hands, bowed their heads, or walked the aisle, stepped through the Cross-shaped gate—and set up camp but have never gotten beyond Savior to Lord and wonder “Is this all there is?” 

  are frightened because they believe they’ve done everything God asked them to do, yet the bottom seems suddenly to have fallen out of their spiritual life; they no longer sense His presence, and their prayers don’t get past the ceiling fan—what went wrong?

  have been dancing atop the mountains, sparkling with excitement, overflowing with love and dripping with spikenard…and then it snowed and the mountain has become a cold, hard wilderness.

• have hit that 50th, 60th, or 70th birthday and need to be reassured because, after looking back on a life of lingering promises, they wonder if the Lord has passed them by, if there is enough time left to fulfill the vision He put into their hearts.

Do you find yourself in one of those groups?

Sadly, few church leaders know what to tell God’s pilgrims because they don’t understand their own spiritual journeys.  If they did, they’d throw their arms around their suffering brothers and sisters and, with a big grin, assure them that this is the best news since the Good News.  They’d settle them in a comfortable chair and explain that life is neither like a box of chocolates, as Forrest Gump’s mama thought, nor “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” as morose, old Macbeth proclaimed.

No, indeed.  Life is nothing less than The Journey to Be Like Jesus! 

 

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 1Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865.

© 2005, 2012 Bill Atwood