Posted: 12/30/19 at 8:30am. Column by Ed Jordan.
This year in the United States, an estimated 45.7 million people will fly during the Christmas through New Year’s holiday season.
Since the typical American family is spread out over several states, millions more will be journeying “home” by automobiles, buses, and trains. Going home for the holidays is especially important for college students and parents of college students.
The heart calls us home during the holiday season.
I remember especially a year when I was studying at the University of Nevada, Reno, and my parents were living in central Arizona.
In early December my pastor in Reno asked me if I was going home for Christmas. My car was not roadworthy, so I told him “No,” and explained why. Later that week he called me and told me that I could take their extra car and use it to go home for Christmas.
I was flabbergasted. What an amazingly nice offer!
So I took him up on it, and I had planned to drive straight through to Arizona. Well, sort of straight through. When I was halfway between Kingman and my destination, the oil engine light came on.
I stopped and used a flashlight to check the oil level. It was down two quarts. I stopped at the next service station and bought three quarts of oil. I added two quarts, checked again to be sure the oil level was at normal again, and drove on.
About 40 minutes later, the oil light came on again. I checked the oil; it was down two quarts again. I bought more oil and stopped one more time before arriving at my parent’s house.
The next day, I called the pastor and explained what had happened. He said that they had never had a problem with it and that he had just had the dealership change the oil and check the car out before my trip. He told me to have a mechanic check it, which we did.
We left it with the mechanic, and in about a half hour he called us to come in. He said I was really lucky (blessed), because the oil pan was only hanging by the last quarter inch of the threads of four bolts.
Apparently when the dealership had taken the pan off to change the filter, they had failed to torque the bolts. So about two-thirds of the way on my journey, the pan had vibrated down, and the car began splashing oil. They tightened the bolts, and the problem was solved—no damage done.
After two weeks of great food and conversation with my folks, I drove the car back to Reno and resumed my studies at the University.
Our journeys during the Christmas season remind us of the journey that Jesus made from heaven to Earth, then to the cross and grave, and finally out of the grave to spend more than a week manifesting himself alive to his followers. After that time Jesus ascended up into the clouds towards heaven while his followers all looked on. It was the greatest round-trip journey in history. I am sure Jesus was looking forward to arriving back at home in heaven, too.
Our Christmas journeys remind us that each of us is on a journey through life and that this journey will one day end. For those who commit their lives to Jesus, God assures us that at the end of our road lies an eternal home with him. He told us this in John 14:1–3 (NLT): “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”
We are all on a journey with a final destination. God wants heaven to be our final destination. But we each must choose: either life with God, or life without God. Have you chosen life with God?
We don’t know when death will arrive and we will journey into eternity, but we know that it will surely come. Do you have your reservation? Why not get your reservation today (see 1 Peter 1:3-5: John 3 for details).
Choosing to live with and for God today, guarantees that we will have an inheritance reserved for us in heaven. Choosing to live without God today has eternal consequences, just as choosing to live with him today has eternal benefits. Choose wisely!