“The priest answered them, ‘Go in peace. Your journey has the LORD’s approval.’” – Judges 18:6
Your journey is your journey. It belongs to no other. It is yours alone. It is unique to you. Though some may share in your journey with you, experiencing the same peaks and valleys, the same curves and long straight junctures, and the same sorrows and celebrations along the way, you maintain a subjective autonomy that no one else can touch. It is your vantage point, your sensory intake, and your emotional filtering of it all that will make it completely inimitable to you as an individual. No other can experience it quite like you do. It is your journey.
I am not suggesting a post-modern ideology, one that would suggest that there is no truth accept that which we believe to be true. I am simply stating that what we experience through our senses and through our spirit, cannot be mirrored with exactitude in another person. We are all made uniquely in the image of God. Like snowflakes or fingerprints, there are no two humans exactly alike, and the way we experience life is completely unique to us. There may be similarities between people, between what we are sensing, or in the way we observe an occurrence, but at the end of the day, no person experienced a specific moment exactly the way another individual did. No one else was standing exactly where another was standing. No one else had the sensory composition that another had. No two-people processed the incoming information with the exact life history biases, synaptic computations, or spiritual faith.
With this in mind, I consider one of my favorite quotes. Pastor Mark Batterson, of National Community Church in Washington D.C., from his book Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity, says, “…everything that exits originated in the mind of the Almighty. It was a thought before it became a thing. And that includes you. You were once an idea in the imagination of God. And for the record, God doesn’t have bad ideas.”
God imagined you. He then took that thought, considered it good, and then formed you in His hand (Psalm 119:73). You are one of God’s incredibly great ideas, and like Pastor Mark says, “God doesn’t have bad ideas.” Take a moment and soak in that thought. The Almighty, the King of all, the Maker of all that is good and wonderful, specifically and individually imagined and created Y-O-U. Every hair on your head was counted (Luke 12:7), and your very existence was thought of and planned before the foundations of earth were set in place (Eph. 1:4).
Now think of a stranger you recently glanced at during a red light stop, or another who walked by you at the store. What is true of you, and your uniqueness, is true of them as well. God created them also. Every person that crosses your path is a uniquely imagined design of God’s creative nature that now carries His breath. And like you, they are on a journey as unique to them as yours is to you. Consider those who sit in your small group circle. Like everyone else, they too were designed by, and are now journeying toward, this all-powerful sovereign Creator.
This is all important to comprehend. Understanding our uniqueness, and that of others, helps us understand how God views us, and how infinite His relational depth is. It also helps us understand the responsibility we carry to steward what He has given us – both internally and externally. How we care for what is going on within the privacy of our personal self, and how we care for what God has placed within our corporate sphere of influence comes from our ability to grasp and comprehend who He is, and who we are in Him.
Scripture tells us that God does nothing by accident. He is a God of order not of disorder (1 Cor. 14:33). The home, and family, you were born into, was intentionally determined with His good plan in mind. And though our free will, and that of others, maneuvers us through our lives from that point forward, for better or for worse, it is God who ultimately works it all together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). His predestined purpose for us now becomes our journey to discover and to ultimately follow (Romans 8:29). We make the choices, but if we do so as He designed, we will accomplish what He desires, and we will become what He wants us to become. Likewise, we will help those around us do the same.
Along with your life experience, the small groups calendar is a uniquely designed journey full of relational adventure. Only you will see it exactly as you see it, but those who come alongside you will be influenced by what you see, what you hear, what you feel, and by the trust and faith you put in the One who designed it all. The question is, what will you do with this intermingling of spiritual journeys?
As you process the circumstantial information surrounding you on this journey, considering what is taking place from your unique vantage point and sensory interpretation, let me encourage you to trust and follow the Lord in it all. Whether you grasp or understand what is taking place in a given moment, you can trust that God does. He knows what is taking place within your journey at every point, and He will guide you along the way. As well, He knows the very same details related to the journeys of others, and how a benefit of mutuality is created when yours and theirs are brought together within His design. Therefore, trust Him, and respond to His leading in faith-filled obedience. In doing so you will be able to “Go in peace” for you will know “Your journey has the LORD’s approval.”
Go Deeper – Grow Stronger