My Oregon Trail

A covered wagon

I find great comfort in a verse that the Holy Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to write. Here it is:

For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 

Romans 14:8-9

A long road

When I was a young guy, I was a Christian, but I had an exceedingly long road to travel to get into a proper relationship with Jesus. There were many things, so many aspirations, that I wanted to keep. I tried to carry them into my walk with Christ Jesus, but the heavier my stuff became, the further we walked.

On my journey with Jesus, I discovered that my progress was so slow because I was carrying two burdens. I had my burden, and I had the burden Jesus gave me. His burden was light but not mine! As I traveled along the Gospel Road, I slowly began throwing away bits and pieces of my stuff. 

My Oregon Trail

Anyone who watched my journey probably saw me as an Easterner in a covered wagon struggling down the Oregon Trail. Every so often, they would see something flying out of the back of the wagon. What seemed so important at the start of the trip became an obstacle that was slowing me down.

The further I traveled along my Oregon Trail, away from my old life, the more my stuff lost its value to me. I was carrying things that Jesus had already made provisions for me. I didn’t need two water canteens; mine became stale, but His was abundant and continually refreshing. The longer I walked with Jesus, the more I came to see my stuff as useless. It was stuff I didn’t need to carry.

Now, it has taken me many decades to pitch the junk I carried into my relationship with Jesus. And I still have more to get rid of. One thing that surprised me as a young Christian was that when I did get some worldly aspect out of my life, I found more stuff that needed to get pitched. I couldn’t see the worms under my plank of wood until I pulled it up. 

Jesus is the same

So, I find great comfort in Romans 14:8-9. Why? I find great comfort because even though heaven will be radically different from my life in this world, Jesus will be the same. The Savior I know now is the Savior I will know then. Death will release me from my remaining baggage. I understand the apostle Paul when he wrote: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”– Philippians 1:21

Photo by Larry Costales on Unsplash


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