Why Is The Journey So Hard?
There is an old film from the 60s titled “Rage” about a doctor’s desperate attempt to reach a city where he can receive treatment for rabies. When he begins his journey he has forty-eight hours before his disease becomes incurable, and along the way he encounters a series of challenges that cut into what little time he has left. He delivers a baby by cesarean and runs the battery down on his jeep in an effort to provide enough light for the operation. The father of the baby helps him jump-start the jeep and decides to ride with him, but several miles down the road they run out of gas. The two men, and a third passenger they picked up along the way, decide to hike across a mountain range that leads to a highway. Once they reach the highway they commandeer a school bus, suffer a mechanical breakdown and get a push from the school children down the other side of the mountain. The bus speeds down a hill at a dangerous rate of speed and finally comes to rest just outside the city, where the doctor jumps to the ground and begins to run. That’s where the movie ends, presumably just before the doctor gets the life-saving rabies serum he needs.
Not long ago I watched “Rage” for the first time in years and I was struck by the empathy I felt for the doctor whose greatest enemies were time, and his own inability to ignore the pain of others. It occurred to me citizenship in the kingdom of God isn’t much different. If time weren’t a factor and if people weren’t important, how we lived wouldn’t matter. But it is, they do, and it does.
We also have Satan as our adversary, and he is relentless in his efforts to rob us of our hope and distract us from our mission. The Apostle Paul defined this battle in his letter to the Ephesians: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). The journey is hard, yet one fact is certain: we can’t say we weren’t warned.