Today marks my 12th day on the road, 11 different hotels and 11 different auctions. To say that it has taken all the energy I have to make this journey is an understatement. But the number of vehicles bought (52), the new family I have acquired here in Florida/Alabama, and the pleasure of seeing so many beautiful places has helped make it a happy journey.
What I find though, is that being away from my spiritual and blood family is a challenge. No matter how great your faith is, having a separation from those who encourage and love you can cause you to wake up one day and realize that you have not read your Bible in several days, only prayed when convenient, and have generally not paid as much attention to your soul as you have paid to your business goal. Not a disaster, but a wake up call.
Can you imagine what it was like for Jesus to be away from his father for 33 years? Can you hear the anxiety in Paul's voice as he talks about "despairing of life"? Is it any wonder he wrote so many letters to his spiritual family and enjoyed their support as he traveled on his journey? Obviously mine is not the same journey as theirs, but wherever I go I talk about God, I think about his grace and love, and I often am called upon to help someone with a spiritual pep talk. Even so, when that trusted support and friendly hugs of human beings are not present, the journey becomes more difficult and takes discipline of faith to get on track.
Jesus surrounded himself with a family of people even when his greatest support came from His father. Paul often talks about his joy of seeing his church family and how it encouraged him. So we must agree that anyone trying to take this journey of life without a cast of friends, mentors and family, may be in trouble despite what they may say. When we isolate and watch preachers on TV for more than a Sunday or two, we don't get the human connection we need. When we say I can read my Bible without adding others to our study, we are a train wreck waiting to happen. Married couples who study alone instead of together, are a divorce waiting to be happen.
Never can we be so arrogant that we think we have got this. None of us is a tower that can't fall over without support. As I travel, watch various programs that lift me up, I still greatly miss you and my blood family constantly because you are the ones who have made my journey possible. Your constant words and prayers always gratify my soul, and I hope my words would encourage you as well. A simple thing like Ralph calling me on the phone yesterday to tell me how proud he was to lead a prayer at a funeral made my day knowing he's okay.
So, as you take your own journey this week, please make it a point to call, go see or just talk to someone when you see them and share some love and faith. They may need it more than you, and it may make your day as well. Ralph certainly made my journey a little easier to take.
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.