14 January 2013

The long and winding road

The long and winding road by bobmendo
The long and winding road, a photo by bobmendo on Flickr.

Barry McGuire (New Christy Minstrels) sang a song circa 1975 "Happy Road."

Chorus:
"Why it's a happy road
That I'm traveling on.
I just can't help myself
You've got me singing a happy song.

Sun is shining
I know it won't be long
Until your happy road is
Taking me home."

This chorus is full of great confidence. No matter when we pass away, we know the Lord will guide us. That sounded like a sub-theme in the poem. By the way, McGuire is still alive and kicking and doing concerts throughout the US and elsewhere.

In the same song McGuire wrote, "[I've] been out on the highway 39 years... sometimes it feels just like a day."


Trails. Happy road. 39 years. Sometimes it feels just like a day.

McGuire continued his poem, "I've seen a lot of heartaches
I've shared a lot of tears,
But then You came
And you took 'em all away."

Has God taken all my sorrows away? Not yet. Has God made my road 'happy'? In many significant ways, very much so.

The last three months I've been off duty, not officially working for Jews for Jesus. I've been on long-service leave, a sabbatical. What a great time of refreshing and restoration. A time of renewal and internal and external reward.

One of the things Patty (my wife) and I did throughout the time was go on many walks. We climbed Signal Hill and Table Mountain in South Africa. We walked through a dusty village outside Livingston, Zambia and along the side of Victoria Falls. On our 6th day of serious climbing, barely represented by this one photo, we ascended Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. I'll be reflecting a lot about that one over the years. That sixth day began at midnight as we climbed for six hours and arrived at 6 a.m., turned around and saw the sunrise behind us. We carried on another 90 minutes and then finally began descending, which we did for another 5 hours that day.

All the photos from Kili are here on Flickr
Patty and I climbed in Jordan to the top of Petra. We climbed in Israel to Mt Meron's top, near Safed with our friends Efraim and Jeanie Goldstein. Trails, everywhere. We went to the USA and visited our daughter in Tennessee.

During that visit we went to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and climbed to the top of Old Smokey. Yes, it was [in part] all covered with snow. Trails. Everywhere, there were trails.

And it's a long and winding road. I'm only 61 years old. I anticipate being on this trail of life a bit longer, although you never know. Younger people die each day, so I will not be so bold as to declare my longevity.

That said, I do anticipate my life continuing and the image of the long and winding road (nod to Lennon/ McCartney) is one that keeps me going. In some places there is a bit of easy walking, where a footpath (sidewalk) already has been laid. In other places, the climb is much harder, nothing smooth about it. Rocks, boulders, thick sand, high grade... all can contend with the ease we desire.

I'm willing and sometimes ready to take on the trail ahead of me. I desire God's hand to guide me and to strengthen me, and at times to lift me up on (or back onto) the trail.

It is long. It is winding. That makes it worthwhile. That makes it adventurous. That makes our need for trust in the One who made all things that much more evident.

Thanks @BarryMcGuire and God bless you today. Thanks be to God for His keeping me these 61 years. Thanks to Patty for the adventure-sharing we've done for 36 of those years.

Will you join us on this adventure? Will you trust Y'shua, the author (initiator) and finisher of the our faith? "Until your happy road is taking me home."

No comments: