All roads lead to nowhere.
Choose one with heart.
Tonight, I listened to a much-acclaimed novelist talking on the radio about his most recent book, his family, his life. He spoke some about what it’s like to live without faith, and he circled around to the quote above, words he recently shared with a graduating class of college seniors. He said this was the best he could do, the most he could offer. And the interview ended.
On Sunday Justin and I sat in a circle of new believers. We talked about primary things, about what it looks like to live the life we were made to live. We said it’s like going on a journey—the epic kind, an odyssey.
I asked if any of them knew what the first christians were called, before they were called christians. No one knew, so I said, “The Way” and I watched as my friends’ faces lit and their heads nodded and they smiled, because even though they’d never heard that, they knew it was true. Of course.
To be Christ’s, God’s—follower and sheep—is to be on the move. He says, “I am the way” and he sets His people in motion. He says, “Go.” He says, “Follow.” He says, “Seek.” He says, “Carry.” He says, “Walk.” And we do.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be among the wandering children of Israel, banished to a wilderness life and an inevitable wilderness death. I think of them walking. Forty years of walking to nowhere.
And I think of that novelist, so smart and so gifted, walking to nowhere, too.
All of us walk. Such is the nature of life, always tumbling ahead, suns rising and setting at an ever quickening pace. We may throw a tantrum and fling ourselves into the middle of the road but the road will move beneath us. It’s been said, “Life is a highway.” Sometimes life is a people mover. You will move.
But you may walk in circles. You may take meandering paths to dead ends. You may find yourself living the same day again and again with the same people saying the same things watching the same shows. You may look in the mirror and see the same self, more wrinkled, less taut, but the same.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to walk to nowhere.
With Christ, every day is a journey to somewhere. I know, because as I walk the scenery changes and the characters develop. I watch myself grow. I watch the people in my life affected and changed, too. I go to new places and try new things and learn new truths. Every day I see more. Every day I feel, palpably, closer to something I can’t yet see in full. And at the same time, every day seems an arrival.
Jesus says in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Those who follow me will never walk in darkness. They will have the light that leads to life.”
And that’s it, the end of the road for the followers of Christ: life. Life abundant now. Here. And life eternal later. Somewhere.
If I were a famous novelist and I were speaking to a graduating class of college seniors, I might say something like this:
Some roads lead to nowhere.
Choose the one that leads to somewhere.
Choose the one that leads to life.
P.S. I do think all roads literally lead somewhere. But some of them lead to nowhere worth going and one leads to Somewhere with a capital S.