Have you ever said, “I’m on cloud nine?”  If you have, it is likely that something wonderful happened in your life at the exact moment you uttered these words.  Perhaps you heard the words, “You’re hired!” or “It’s a Girl (or Boy)!” or “Will you marry me?”  And you likely remember the date, time, and location where this special event in your life took place.  But, what about all of the days, months, and years leading up to this exhilarating moment?  Undoubtedly, you experienced some highs and lows, and maybe even some disappointments along the way.  Still, you eventually arrived at the moment where you reached the destination on your journey – cloud nine.

When I think about the journeys we take in life, I have come to realize that there are many similarities between our day-to-day experiences and those of many reality television show contestants.  Their journey through various challenges is not unlike our journey through life, with its many highs and lows.  At times, contestants may make a mistake or encounter an unexpected detour.  Along their journey, they make good decisions and bad ones.  Yet, one team always prevails and finishes the journey victorious, having made it to their “cloud nine” experience – being proclaimed the winner of the competition.

Our lives bear a striking resemblance to these programs, in that our lives are also a journey.  While we are not striving to win $1,000,000 or the title of sole Survivor, there are many daily challenges that we must face.  For instance, in the business world, everyone wants to get ahead.  Instead of clues, they attend “power lunches” to try to get to the next rung on their way to the top of the ladder of success.  And a mistake may not cost them their lead position in a competition, but it may cost them a promotion, their job, or even their reputation.  But in the end, there will be those who make good decisions and find their way to the “cloud nine” they are searching for, such as a promotion or increase in salary.
Personally, I find that the journey to cloud nine can be quite difficult.  Now, I am not talking about the end of a race, or even recognition in the workplace.  I am talking about this journey we call life.  And no, we’re not truly searching for cloud nine.  But, we are on a journey to eternity.  This journey is very difficult at times.  While we may have joyous times to celebrate, there may be other times when sorrow fills our hearts.  We may hear the words “You’re Fired” or “You’ve had a miscarriage” or “We’re getting a divorce” instead of the words above.  During these times, God will bring you peace.  He will remind you of the cloud nine that you seek.  And He will help you move toward your goal, filling your heart with joy once more.
There are times when it would be easier to just quit.  Or it may be tempting to follow a different path.  God’s Word says, “Enter by the narrow gate.  For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many” (Matthew 7:13 ESV).  It might seem easier to travel down the wide road, at least for a little while.  Inevitably, though, you will find that this road leads to great disappointment.  The decision to travel down this road leads to a dead end – Hell.  If you’re on this road, I want to strongly encourage you to turn around.  It’s not too late.  Put your trust in Jesus Christ.  Ask Him for directions to cloud nine.  Follow His steps and don’t look back.  You will be on a journey like no other, never seen on television.  God can do more than you ever imagined, and I can assure you, His dreams for your life are truly incomprehensible!
Every day, I continually strive to put one foot in front of the other on my journey to cloud nine.  In my life, I have experienced many ups and downs.  Some have been minor, such as the disappointment of a missed visit with a friend, and some have been major, such as the saddening loss of my mom.  Still, I know that God will be with me in every circumstance.  He will give me strength when I am weary, joy when I am sad, and hope when I feel hopeless.  The road I am traveling on may be straight and narrow, but God is leading the charge.  Won’t you join me on this direct route to the ultimate “cloud nine” – Heaven?  The journey to cloud nine may be challenging, but just wait until you see the view from the top!
In Christ’s Love,