Have you ever visited a destination so marvelous that you simply desired to stay there forever?Perhaps it was a sunshiny sandy beach or a majestic mountain vista.You know, the kind of place that tugs at your heartstrings and seems almost like a dream.From a Swiss chalet at the foot of the Matterhorn to a quaint bed and breakfast in my ancestral home of Inveraray, Scotland, I often find myself wanting to stay in such a gorgeous place just a little longer.This summer, I had the opportunity to visit Prince Edward Island.As someone with a Master of Science degree in English, seeing all of the Lucy Maud Montgomery sites was somewhat overwhelming.The idyllic scenery on the island drew me in like a bee to honey.I must admit that I have visited several locations that were so dear to me that I became misty eyed when it came time for us to leave, and this was one of those times for sure.While there are many different places that cause me to leave a little piece of my heart behind each time I have to leave, I know that I cannot stay in one place indefinitely.Eventually, it is time to move on.
Jesus’ disciples even found that they often had to move on when they were traveling with Jesus. One day they went up on the mountaintop to pray with Jesus. Peter said, “‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah’” (Matthew 17:4 NIV). The location was so glorious and the experience was so profound that Peter wanted to build homes and begin living on that mountaintop. Of course, Jesus knew that He could not stay on the mountain forever. He knew that He would have to walk through the darkest valley of His life. He knew that all too soon He would be hung on a cross to die. Surely He would rather have stayed on that mountain, secluded from the rest of the world. Yet He knew that He had to move on in order to obey His Father’s will.
As Christians, we often get comfortable at certain points in our lives. We find a job that suits us well, locate a church that makes us feel welcome, or discover a vacation destination that we enjoy so much that we’re ready to move in, much like Peter was willing to place roots down on top of the mountain. While all of these are blessings along the way, we must remember that our purpose is to follow God’s plan for our life. Sometimes this means we must leave that “comfort zone,” whatever it may be, and press on to something different that lies ahead, whether it is a negative change or a positive one. Either way, we can rest assured that every valley we cross and mountain we summit along the way is a step in the right direction.
Paul wrote, “Forgetting what is behindand straining toward what is ahead,I press ontoward the goal to win the prizefor which God has calledme heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV). As Christians, we should have the same goal in mind. To forget the past with all of its disappointments and failures and push on toward the abundant life that awaits us. Jesus Christ knows every joy and every difficulty that we may encounter on life’s road. He knows every opportunity we may miss and every door we may walk through. No matter what we face during our journey on this earth, Jesus Christ gives us the assurance that better things await us. So don’t look back. Look ahead. Seek the Lord’s will for your life. Keep moving on. Cherish each moment of your life with the knowledge that every step you take will bring you one step closer to Jesus Christ.