1997. The year of the historic October blizzard in Colorado. It was a once in a hundred year storm. I was in Orlando and then Chicago but Sue was in Colorado at our home in the forest, elevation 7,540 feet . The Colorado Springs airport was closed for three days and I was stranded in Chicago unable to get home.
Finally I called Sue and announced that I was on the first flight into Colorado Springs. Her response was it won’t make any difference as I won’t be able to get to the house. I said I could and would. Sue told me again I didn’t understand – the snow was drifted to the top of the windows. There was no way to get home and it would be a long time before our dirt road would get plowed.
Well – I flew into Colorado Springs and a friend, who had a “real” jeep, picked me up. He managed to get me to the end of our road but could not go any farther. I was determined and so I said, “Let me out – I will walk the rest of the way.” Stupidly, I got out with all my luggage and started down our dirt road. The snow was up to the top of my thighs and every step was exhausting. My stupidity was confirmed. As I crested a rise in our road, our neighbors were digging out, saw me, and came to my rescue with a horse.
As I walked in the back door of our house, Sue was totally shocked and asked how I got there. She did not believe me when I said by horseback…and then she saw the horse out the back door!
This how a lot of believers envision their relationship with God. Jesus gets them 80% of the way to the Father, to the end of the street, but then he says “Out you go. That’s as far as I am taking you. Now if you want to go the rest of the way and be close to God, it’s up to you. Work hard and good luck trying.” Theologians have a word for this type of thinking – “baloney.”
Romans 5:1 tells us that Jesus takes us all the way to the Father…”we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The word peace here does not refer to a feeling. Rather it means the restoration of a relationship, a friendship. It is to bind back together that which has been broken. It is like Jesus has super-glued us to the Father.
I do not have to put effort into getting close to God. I already am. Jesus has taken me all the way. Now I put effort into experiencing and enjoying the closeness I already have. If God feels far away, He is not. I am simply experiencing the results of my inattention.
QUESTION: Do you have a jeep and horseback theology that needs to change? What would be a first step?
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