The Way, John 14:1-14
2nd Apr 2019
It was August and the 13th country of the road trip, the two parents and four children aged 2-14 bundled into one Citroen, got stuck. Googlemaps had been faithful but now declared the journey time had gone from two hours to six.
There was hope, looking on the map we could leave the motorway and go around to another road and re-join a few miles later…simple. We turned off and travelled past some pretty Swiss chalet’s, a wooden bear and saw the sign for the road. We went to turn onto it but the two cars in front stopped with the road blocked by police. The police-lady came to the window – ‘German?’, ‘No, English,’ I replied (thinking it was rather obvious from the English plates and GB sticker). ‘German?’ she asked again, ‘No, English’ I replied again. ‘Aaaah, road closed, no go, road closed. You go on the road, turn off, then go St. Gotthard, must go St. Gotthard, road closed.” She even drew a little map, waving us on with the words this road was closed, remember ‘St. Gotthard’. We set off, obediently following the little map, taking the turn and going up through a little town to turn off at the St. Gotthard sign. But then the road kept getting higher and steeper, round cliff edge bends and higher still. At this point I discovered my husband of 22 years is not just afraid of heights but does not like driving on them. I reflected maybe she didn’t like Brits.
I pointed out the spectacular views, how amazing it was that a road could be built that literally hung off the side of a mountain and how incredible that we could go from sunshine to near invisibility towards the peak of the mountain. My husband didn’t seem to appreciate any of these things but we kept going. We kept going because we had no choice, we were committed to the road, to the journey, to this route. It really was not what any of us had planned or imagined but this was what it was. Apparently, it’s one of the highest mountain roads in the Alps and well known for “its sheer drops and serpentine twists and turns” I can confirm these exist.
This passage is titled “Jesus comforts his disciples.” This was through highlighting that He was going to leave them (abandonment isn’t usually high on pastoral approaches) but then goes on to remind them of who He was and who they were.
Our route was not what we had planned but it was the way we chose to follow to get where we wanted. The only possible way it seemed and a way that had breath-taking beauty if you could notice it as you journeyed but also had struggles, dangers, worries and risk.
I wonder where your journey today will take you and what you will see and remember of it? Jesus reminded the disciples that “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Our route, in truth takes us through the fullness of life – it’s joys and challenges. I wonder if today which ways you will choose?