Crystal Writes A Blog

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Stops Along the Way

Clouds & Trees at Sunset Behind Work in Louisville Kentucky in April 2008 By Crystal A Murray, CC License Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

Clouds & Trees at Sunset in Louisville KY, April 2008 By Crystal A Murray, CC License Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike
Click image to open a new tab/window to view my original image in its largest size and to access my full photo stream at Flickr.

A long journey without stops along the way is just not as fun as one with brief retreats and planned detours. When my husband and I used to travel with the boys, we tried to make the journey as much fun as the destination. We stopped to see the world’s largest prairie dog and a five-legged cow, we visited the Precious Moments museum, and we rode a miniature train in Tiny Town. If a rest area had trails or play areas, we tried to spend some time enjoying nature or riding on swings. The stops along the way are what made our journeys fun, and the stops along the road of life are what keep our days filled with real living.

In today’s reading from Deuteronomy 1:22 through Deuteronomy 1:38, Moses is continuing his talk to the current generation of Israelites about the history of the generations before them. He speaks as if they are one in the same people since he wants to make sure they will not repeat the same mistakes as their recent ancestors. As he takes them on the journey of deliverance from Egypt, he walks them through the paths walked by their parents and the stops made along the way. He begins with the journey of the spies into The Promised Land.

I noticed as the reading started that Moses says it was the people who suggested they send spies out ahead of them, but when I first wrote on this topic, the reading stated it was God who sent the men out. This makes me a little unsure as to who had the original idea, but since both God and Moses agreed the idea was a good one, they all worked together to bring it to pass. Moses tells of the journey and how the spies returned with fruit from the land and the report that The Lord was sending them to a good land.

Unfortunately for that previous and sinful generation, the good report of the spies, and the evidence they carried to encourage the people, was not enough. The people focused on the report of giants in the land and accused God of hating them by bringing them from Egypt to a place where they would be killed by giants. Moses tells this new generation of the encouragements he shared with their ancestors, reminding them of all the places since Egypt where God had shown Himself as strong and as their Deliverer. He also reminds the people that God said He would go to the land of promise with them and would fight for them, but they chose fear instead.

From here, Moses communicates God’s anger against those who saw His abilities, agreed to stand as soldiers and fight for the land, and then gave up because they only wanted the destination without the journey. Moses tells them that the entire evil generation is banished from entering into the land except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh. He goes on to say that it is because of them (and I’m not sure if he’s still talking of the previous group or is now focused on the current people) that even he will not be able to enter in, so Joshua the son of Nun will lead them in his place.

Not every stop in our travels, or on life’s journey, will be the same. Some places we stop because we have to, like necessary bathroom breaks when we’re traveling. Some places we stop because we catch a glimpse of something we know we may never see again, so we stop and take it in, and maybe we capture the memory in pictures. Some stops are a combination of necessary and nice, like when we’re hungry and we choose to eat at that famous restaurant we’ve seen advertised on all the billboards.

In life, we will have necessary stops, joy stops, and those that are a combination of both. As we travel, if we learn from those who have traveled before us, we can spend more time looking for the stops that will bring joy to the journey, but we will still have some of those necessary stops just because that is part of our temporary life on this earth. When I took the picture above, I was having unresolved issues from neck surgery and looking at another more serious one, plus I was dealing with a lot of stress at work as I tried to transition out of my job for a chiropractor. I didn’t plan to stop on the back steps that April evening, but I walked out at that golden hour when everything seemed to glow in the fading sunlight. I had to grab my point and shoot and grab the picture before the moment disappeared.

Since then, I’ve had many more stops on my journey, some wanted and some not so much. I can look back at that sunset image (including the colorful manipulations I’ve done on it in pink, purple, and peach) and remind myself that God has both my sunrises and sunsets in His capable hands, and He will lead me on every step of this journey as long as I am willing to follow Him. Even in those times where I face difficulties, I do not face them alone. And no matter how many stops I have to make along the way, I can trust that He will walk with me, stop with me, and bring me to the right destination when my journey reaches its end.

July 21, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , ,

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