The term pioneer or trailblazer, especially in US culture, represents those few who ventured into unexplored country in search of new land to settle and to discover new resources.
We live a life where we are constantly trying to make sense of our place and part in it. Something jars, if I'm honest. I feel awkward and clunky most of the time. I don't seem to fit into this landscape. A stranger in a strange land. Do you relate?
I get tired looking at the lives of others and wondering if that is the way I should have chosen. I am bombarded by the media showcasing 'Real Lives' and 'success stories' that suggest a better way. I feel unsettled, nomadic!
Despite our best efforts to make sense of it, doesn't life leave us bewildered? How many times do we find ourselves at another dead-end, wrong turn or too far down a path we would rather have avoided. The landscape of our lives never ceases to be unfamiliar. Where did we miss it? When will we find it?
Wouldn't it be amazing if we had someone totally dependable who has already mapped out a way we could follow, a way that promises life, hope, security but at the same time rich in adventure?
Wouldn't it be amazing if that person offered us companionship on the way, someone who could and would gladly navigate us through life's snares and pitfalls? Someone who knew when it was time for us to rest and knew when to encourage us to reach up and push on?
I had never really understood why Jesus referred to Himself as 'the Way'. It is slowly, slowly dawning. He said - "I go to prepare a place for you". He said to his disciples; "follow me". He is the reassuring narrow way and not the broad confusing way!
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. [John 14]
Jesus is our trailblazer, our map and our way. If we choose Him!
The amazing thing is that He has proven the authenticity of this map by becoming one of us. This map is totally relatable and utterly reliable in every detail because He has lived and loved, like us, in the flesh.
Jesus' invitation is to walk and explore life with Him. We were made for this adventure! We were not made for settling, we were made for experiencing the frontier of abundant life with all of its wildness, danger and reward, and furthermore, experience it with the one who knows the way. The one who IS the way.