Our boots formed the percussion section of our band, crunching the snow in an odd rhythm as we trekked the Bruce Trail. Our efforts had nothing to do with creating the path we trod or the markings we followed. Years ago, others blazed and branded the way, establishing an elevated vista that runs 595 km from Niagara to Tobermory. The goal of our labour was to experience the joy made accessible by walking in their work. It was a delight.
The Risen Lord blazed the trail from death to eternal life. Jesus is “the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Her 12:2), he championed and authored new life for all who walk His path. Faith is not just about a heavenly destination, there is much to experience along The Way. Jesus creates a trail marked by transformation, the sights that await are vistas of restoration, renewal and more. A disciple’s true work is to set their eyes on Jesus and follow him into new life.
The day we trekked the Bruce trail we chose our gear. No one was wearing flip-flops on their feet or straw hats on their head. The journey to the sights was going to be a winter hike, not a summer holiday. No one balked at the need to outfit ourselves for the work of the walk. But neither did anyone confuse gearing-up as the purpose of the outing, no, we all knew, the preparation was to enable us to experience the joy of the journey.
Outfitting in Grace
Following Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith is no vacation stroll. The journey to restoration and renewal, to the abundance of new life, is for the equipped and steadfast. It is for those who outfit themselves by engaging in the disciplines of grace (e.g., silence, solitude, prayer, fasting, worship and more). It is for those who prepare by engaging with God’s truth.
These efforts are not the prize. They are only the means that ready us for the work of the trail. The real joy comes in following Jesus, seeing the vistas of victory he has made accessible and discovering the more we trek after our Lord the more we become like him.
What discipline of grace have you found helpful in equipping you to follow Jesus?
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