Summary: Road to Emmaus - Life as a journey
A Confidential Report from the Pastor Search Committee:
We do not have a happy report to give. We have not been able to find a suitable candidate for this church. Here are those we considered so far.
ADAM: Good man but has problems with his wife. One reference told us how he and his wife enjoyed walking nude in the woods.
NOAH: Former pastorate of 120 years with no converts. Prone to unrealistic building projects.
JOSEPH: A big thinker, but a braggart; believes in dream interpreting and has a prison record.
MOSES: A modest and meek man, but poor communicator; even stutters at times. Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly in business meetings. Some say he left an earlier church over a murder charge.
DAVID: The most promising leader of all until we discovered the affair he had with his neighbor’s wife.
SOLOMON: Great preacher, but serious woman problem.
HOSEA: A tender and loving pastor, but our people could never handle his wife’s occupation.
JONAH: Told us he was swallowed up by a great fish. He said the fish later spit him out on the shore near here. We hung up.
JOHN The Baptist: In addition to the denominational problem, he sleeps in the outdoors, has a weird diet, and provokes conflicts with religious leaders.
PETER: Too blue collar. Has a bad temper, even said to have cursed. He’s a loose cannon.
PAUL: Powerful CEO type and fascinating preacher. However, he’s short on tact, unforgiving with young ministers, harsh, and has been known to preach all night.
TIMOTHY: Too young.
Life is a journey, not a destination. We forget that these days. Linda and I are going to Hawaii this summer. Our daughter, Kit, is graduating from college next month and she asked for a special family vacation as a present. We chose Hawaii. Kit and her husband Josh and Linda and I will be spending a week in Kona in June. It will be Kit’s graduation present, a present for the kid’s second wedding anniversary, Linda’s birthday present, Josh’s birthday present, and my father’s day present.
We’ve been shopping for plane tickets. Besides the cost, the biggest complaint has been the time it takes to get there. With a couple of stops and plane changes, we will be traveling for more than 14 hours. What a bummer.
How crazy is that? Isn’t it miraculous that we can even get there? Think how difficult that trip would have been not so many years ago. Could we have even considered this kind of trip if we had to go by boat? Can you imagine? Now, 14 hours seems like a lifetime.
Even in my own lifetime I remember travel being a much bigger endeavor than it is today. I was raised in New Mexico, but my parent’s families were mostly in Pennsylvania, though I did have a wacky uncle in Los Angeles. When I was really little, back in the late 50s and early 60s, we used to travel every year to see them. Usually, we went by train.
Traveling from New Mexico to Pennsylvania by train took more than a day. I remember eating in the dining car. It wasn’t fast food. They served real meals on real china. There was always a waiter standing at the ready. I remember sitting up all night in those huge railroad seats straining to see as the world went by. Even though there was no interaction, riding on a train gave you a sense of the character of the places that you passed through. I could see the change from the dry southwest to the farms of the Midwest to lush green as we came east. The world was big, and wonderful, and real.
When we fly to Hawaii, there won’t be any of that. We will get sandwiches, made who knows when, wrapped in plastic and sitting on Styrofoam. We will know nothing of what is going on below us. Often, our entire view will be nothing but clouds.
Some of you remember when Kit went to Kenya on a mission trip a few years back. The entire trip out there was a real adventure for her, more than I can possibly relate today, but there was one part that demands our attention. Her group flew into Nairobi, but they were staying just outside of Mombassa. Those are the two largest cities in Kenya and are only a couple of hours apart by train, which is how I assumed that they would travel. They didn’t. They took a bus. You know the old bus in the movie “Romancing the Stone”, the bus with the chickens? It was something like that. They traveled over unpaved roads for more than 12 hours, including stops to let herds of zebra go past and to go through military checkpoints. Traveling like that gave her an introduction to what her month in Kenya would be like.