For full transparency I am writing this while on a train. I face a day of connections, schedules I do not control, and the potential that things will not line up for transferring this person, me, to and from my destination. Here I am.
For the record, I’ve never hitchhiked. It never appealed to me. I have, however, traveled to many remote locations, remote to me, around the world. In order to do so I had to go out. Leave my home, my safety and security to do so. I could not go out unless I left. Sounds simple enough, but there’s more.
Upon leaving the above noted security, and therefore familiarity, I need to be comfortable where I am. “Where” might not be the “there” I had in mind, but that is the risk of going out.
In this weeks Torah portion of לֶךְ-לְךָ/Lech Lecha, the Lord tells Abraham in Genesis 12:1 to “go out”; but it is more than that: “Go out to yourself.” Yet, He also says:
אֶל-הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ
Go, “to a land that I will show you.”
Abraham was told to go out, even “go out to yourself,” but the destination was not in his control. Control belonged to God; but the journey was Abraham.
Common sense would tell us that it would be unwise to leave arrival at an important meeting to chance. We wouldn’t just say, “Oh well. I’ll get there when I get there.”
Here is the lesson: While we live in the present, it is not for the present that we live.
By calling Abraham to go out to himself, the Lord was telling him to be alive while on the journey to the promise, as the author of Hebrews writes, “For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10).
What does this tell us? Abraham connected, by faith, the journey “to yourself” with eternity. The beauty of the story of Abraham is that he wrestled on the journey. He had moments of great faith, and moments where he took matters into his own hands. We can certainly learn from his triumphs; but also his mistakes.
Going out, no matter how long the journey takes faith; yet it also causes us to learn to be content where we are, especially when things are not going as planned; not because we are unfazed by the circumstance; rather, we are connecting the circumstance with eternity.
Paul wrote, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (Phil. 4:11-12).
How can we do this? Yeshua, Jesus is the destination in whom we are now, but not yet (Eph. 2:6). As the world is filled with His glory and presence, where we are is in Him, even while we are faithing to Him.
No matter where you are on the journey, God is making the moment, and He remakes our past moments, even the mistakes.
Abraham trusted Him, and he rejoiced to see the day of his rest in Yeshua (Jn. 8:56).
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
When we know that God, in Christ, loves us, we know, ultimately, nothing on the journey is left to chance.
Be well. Shalom.