by Tim Howard
I’m a freeway type of person, how about you? If I’m going somewhere, I like to get there quickly. I don’t want to get behind someone going slower than the speed limit, someone who is out to see the sights or someone who isn’t in a hurry – unlike me. Imagine how happy I would be if it were legal to purchase and install some blinking red and blue lights on the top of my car. I would promise to never use them unless I was in a hurry! Then again, I always seem to be in a hurry.
Back roads are slower but God usually chooses this type of road to shape us and make us into what we are designed to be. He’s not interested in speed as much as substance and moving at a slower pace allows God to do more than a superficial work in us.
Back roads are narrow. If you have ever driven in the mountains you know what I mean. Jesus said: “… wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matt 7:13-14. When you narrow your focus, you increase the force of what Jesus can do and open the door to life.
Back roads are dimly lit, if lit at all and Jesus uses our darkness to reveal his light. He is at work when darkness surrounds you – He works the night shift! King David said: “even the darkness will not be dark to you – the night will shine like the day for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm. 139:12
Back roads are bumpy, littered with potholes and often not paved. If you are looking for convenience, comfort and trying to avoid pain, then freeway living is a logical choice. If you want to make an impact and grow some deep roots, however, back roads are the best. Jesus intentionally uses our hurts, pains and the troubles of life to develop us rather than destroy us. The Apostle Paul confirmed this by saying, I’ve been knocked down but not destroyed.
Back roads are where you will meet Jesus. Back in the 60’s the Hippie Movement was in full swing and it was common to see people hitch-hiking along the road. You never saw them on the freeway, however – only roads less traveled. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus can be found on the freeways of life too but you miss Him because you don’t take time to notice.
If you are caught up in the ‘rat race’ of our culture, moving at great speeds but making little progress – If you have forgotten that the process is as important as the goal – If your busyness had blurred the significance of life then you may want to look for a back road.
I promise you this. You won’t get to your destination as quickly but you will smell some roses along the way, see some life-changing things and encounter Jesus along the way.
Pastor Tim Howard is the Lead Pastor at Koinonia Christian Fellowship. Any comments can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org