Twenty-five years ago today, I gave my life to Jesus. I had just turned eight years old when I went before the congregation and committed my life’s steps to walking upon the way of the King, and was immersed into the salvation story God has been authoring from the very beginning.
Later in the day, my family went to visit my grandmother at the hospital; as a birthday/baptism present, she gave me a Bible and a gun (it was the Upper Peninsula). Inside the cover she wrote to always trust in the LORD, be faithful and prayerful. She passed away a few weeks later. Except for some brief target practice, I’ve never used the gun; but the Bible’s story has always weaved its narrative into my ways of thinking and living, constructing me (I hope) into one of its many characters struggling to keep up with Christ.
Twenty-five years is a long walk. Today, as I hold up and take a breather, coffee in hand, look back over the ridges I’ve crossed, and while thankful for this trek I’ve trod, I remain even more amazed at this path that was pioneered at all. This way God instigated and shaped, led and lighted with His creative prowess, holy commands, the characters He called, and Christ most emphatically, is alive with a wealth of grace which preserves all that has come before and perseveres all that shall come ahead.
It is by no means my own private journey, but a path of pilgrims. By God’s grace we have awakened upon this way and are in awe of its worldly windings. The way is not always scenic and pretty; it can often be downright desolate. But it is not abandoned. A King and his community walks these roads.
In this week of Thanksgiving, we’re all catching our breath and surveying the scenery of our stories. Then we’ll walk on. Every step we take will be character we make. As pilgrims upon the path of Jesus, I pray our every step into his footprint will mold his character into ours, that this whole walk will reflect the One who wrought this wondrous way.
Grace and peace of Christ to you.