“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 NLT
Jesus taught many parables as he was walking through the regions. “On the way…” he would see lilies in the field and start teaching. “On the way…” he would see barren ground and start teaching about the hearts of men. “On the way…” he would see a stone and out would pour a story.
We have talked about the question Jesus pointedly asked the disciples. “Who do you say that I am?”
More often than not I respond to this question in the same manner Mary did after the Risen Lord spoke her name. “Rabboni, Masterful Teacher.”
“On the way…” Jesus still teaches me through parables. So I share with you, “The parable of Oklahoma Turnpikes and the perils of missing your exit.”
Have you traveled through Oklahoma in the past ten years? If you have I guarntee you have paid a toll at least once or twice while traveling through the Sooner State. Now don’t get me wrong, I like turnpikes. They are very fine roads. I travel them 5-6 times a week. I eat mexican food at Los Cabos. I travel Creek turnpike west. I shop at Utica Square. I go Creek turnpike east. We go to our lakehouse. I travel Creek Turnpike east to the Muskogee Turnpike South. We visit my mother-in-law in Granite Oklahoma. We travel Creek Turnpike west to the Turner Turnpike South to the Kilpatrick Turnpike around Oklahoma City. I head down to west Texas. I travel Creek Turnpike west, Turner Turnpike South, H E Bailey Turnpike that takes me out of the state. OK you get it, you can’t throw a rock without traveling a turnpike somewhere in the state. The peril of traveling these turnpikes is if you miss an exit you meant to take. The exits along these tollways are few and far between. It takes a rocket scientist to decipher the highway signs on these tollways. Or at the very least you have to be paying attention and don’t get distracted. This is a very valuable lesson for me as I have the responsibility of navigator as my husband drives. I really don’t think it is meant for us to eat anywhere in the Hardrock Hotel and Casino. Getting and leaving this place is my nemisis. It is at the intersection of two turnpikes, the Will Rogers Turnpike heading to Joplin Missouri and the Okmulgee Turnpike heading north toward Kansas. That is not good for me, not good at all.
Kevin, “Pay attention and don’t let me miss exit 223B.”
Me, “Ok. 223B 223B. Oh by the way let me read this email to you.”
Kevin, “Where is exit 223B?”
Me, “Uh Oh. We just passed it.”
You might be thinking, “No big deal.”
Yeah big deal cuz the next exit is five miles away and you have to pay $1.52 to exit and then pay another $1.52 to enter the same tollway just to head the opposite direction so you can simply get back to the place of your mistake.
Parable of turnpikes: Life is like these turnpikes. Life can get really confusing. I can get really distracted as I travel this life journey and when I do, I miss the road God would have had me travel. When I make mistakes and miss my exit there is a toll to pay, but God always has a turnaround available to me. How many opportunities and exits have I missed that God has made available to me to share my faith but I missed them because I was too distracted by the busyness or by the desires of the world in my life?
Sailors use to navigate the seas by charting the stars and following the North Star.
“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.” Proverbs 4:25 NLT
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside of God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT
Jesus is my North Star. I navigate safely through this life journey when I fix my eyes on Him, looking straight ahead to Him. Jesus is the Way. Jesus is the Truth. And Jesu is the Life. He is the Only Way my life makes sense. He is the Only way to get to my final destintation. Heaven. To live eternally with the One Who Created me.
There was a road called Golgotha. The way of the Skull. Calvary’s Road. It is paved with cobblesones of mercy. It is stained with drops of blood from the crown of thorns upon His brow, and the stripes of flesh torn from His back. There is no curb appeal along this road, but at the final turn in this long and winding uphill road, you will find yourself at pearly gates. You will be asked a question. “Who do you say He is?” If your response is “Thou art the Christ, The Son of the Living God. You are Jesus my Savior and the Cleanser of My Sins.” Then welcome home for Heaven is your final destination on this road called Life.