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JULIALAWTON

Julia Lawton
MAKE SURE YOU JOURNEY RIGHT TO THE END

I recently made a train journey which didn’t start too well. I found my seat and couldn‘t get my luggage overhead so put it by my feet. It was quite uncomfortable and, to make matters worse, I noticed that I was travelling backwards. I hate going backwards. The train was noisy and then a rather large man came and sat next to me, invading my space! I was beginning to get a little stressed by it. He was affecting my journey.

Then the train was delayed and diverted. Nightmare! I started to pray. To my surprise the man (a train spotter!) made polite conversation.

As he chatted to me he moved and I regained my personal space. He turned out to be a really pleasant man. The journey improved and later I changed trains and had a wonderful and undisturbed onwards journey.

We all have one life, but we can have different journeys. We can be going forward with God, thinking nothing is going to stop us, but then something happens and we’re stopped in our tracks. We cannot stand still. We have to keep going forwards otherwise we lose ground or start travelling backwards.

So how can we make our journey a better one? Isn’t it easier when we travel with a friend who knows the way? Jesus is the perfect travel companion. Allow him to journey with you. Listen to him and allow him to guide you and be more involved in your life.

PLAN AND PREPARE FOR YOUR JOURNEY

l planned my route and bought my tickets. What preparation are you making for your journey? Are you spending time with God? If you believe God is moving you into a new job or ministry then start researching and preparing for it. It’s time to get ready and prepared!

ALLOW FOR DELAYS AND A CHANGE OF ROUTE

l was delayed. Sometimes God delays. It may be that we are not ready to move forward. He is preparing us all the time. Faith in God includes faith in God’s timing. God may want us to change route. We need to allow him to do that by listening to his voice and being willing to submit to his perfect plan (Jeremiah 29:11).

My family and l were happy living in Crewe when God called us to the North East. l was not looking to move. We could have stayed with our children where life was pretty comfortable but I knew that if we wanted to have a full and effective life we needed to be living in God’s will. We would have missed out on so much if we had stayed where we were.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

My train journey would have been so much more comfort- able and enjoyable if my luggage had been in the luggage rack. We need to move forward into all that God has for us. We can’t do that if we are weighed down with baggage. Hebrews
l2:1 encourages us to ‘throw off everything that hinders us’.

During our lives we will pick up baggage such as offence, hurts, disappointments, resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness rejection, shame etc. lf we carry them around with us they will affect every area of our lives. My journey was nearly affected by that man. Can l encourage you to stay focused on where you are going? Do not let circumstances, distractions or people stop you moving forward.

STAY ON THE TRAIN

l didn’t get off before my destination. l stayed on all the way, even though it wasn’t the easiest of journeys. And that is what God is calling us to do.

During his later life Winston Churchill was invited to speak at a university. His arrival was delayed and no time was left for a long speech. Churchill stood before the young graduates and paused and then barked, “Never give up.” He paused for about 30 seconds and said, “Never, never give up!” Finally, after a much longer pause, he shouted, “Never, never, never give up!” He returned to his seat to a standing ovation.

The words ‘never give up’ are ones all Christians should have written on their hearts. Perseverance is one of the key qualities which will enable us to stay the course and complete our individual journey and live effective and successful Christian lives.

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