There are two ways I like to get to the Chapel. They’re both beautifully scenic routes.
On these back roads that lead to the Chapel, I sometimes ask the Lord what he wants to say to me. One day, as I came to a point in the road where I could take either the long or short road, I had this clear thought – take the long road today.
I’m usually in a hurry, even to get to the Chapel.
Doesn’t it often feel like we’re racing against time? It’s interesting because God is never in a hurry. He’s never rushing. He’s never trying to beat the clock. Perhaps in this small prompting to take the long road today, Jesus was helping me to remember for a moment. He is the Lord of time and eternity.
On these beautiful winding roads, with trees adorned in the most colorful fall leaves, I received this sweet prompting to go slow today.
Umm…but I’m busy, Lord! I have prayers to pray, and words to write, and work to do, and by the way…don’t you know I’m hurrying up right now to be with you.
It’s hilarious when we stop to think about what’s actually going through our heads in these moments.
I mean, relationship with Jesus is not complicated. The entire Gospel narrative is about this one thing – Jesus wanting to be with us always. He wants to be with us along the way. He is the best friend who wants to hear about the mundane details of your day.
And today, we were going to take a drive together. We were going to notice together the road to the Chapel.
All of the roads to the Chapel are gorgeous. Any route you choose to take, you will be met with beauty in these hidden hills.
The short road takes me by a little horse farm. I go over a small wooden bridge with the horses in view. I glimpse the beautiful homes tucked away in the woods.
The long road just lets me go winding for a while. There are trees all around me. It’s hilly and curvy so the speed limit is pretty slow. The long road almost lulls you into a quiet stillness, if you’ll give space to it.
I was reflecting upon these past three years that have led me on this road to the Chapel doors. It was November then too. Unveiled was born right here in the Chapel. At the time, it was a beautiful space for our first conference. I couldn’t have known how precious this place would soon become to me.
I also didn’t know when God gave the vision for Unveiled that it would be a long, winding, sometimes treacherous, and beautiful road. It has not always felt so beautiful. But I have learned along the way, things are not often as they seem.
There is beauty all around me.
On this chapel drive that I make so often, I’ve realized that both roads are simply invitations. And I just get to go with Jesus on them.
Take the long road today. Enjoy the beauty of this drive. I’m with you always – you don’t have to hurry to the Chapel. Find me here, in the drive. Find me in the beauty of this long, winding, hilly road. I just want to spend time with you – wherever you are, I am there.
I’m learning so much about friendship with Jesus. It’s always an invitation, not a command. His voice is captivating. Even his correction and instruction are irresistible. Like the Psalmist says “How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.” (Ps. 119:103)
We’re invited to go slow today.
To be honest, the shorter road to the Chapel is a bit more treacherous. It’s hard to see around the corners. It floods easily. Tree branches are down sometimes. If you accidentally drive to close to the edge of the road, you’ll end up stuck in a ditch. It requires more precision and care to take the shorter road. I have to pay attention a bit more.
Do you remember the story of children of Israel in the wilderness? The Lord takes them on the long road so they wouldn’t be discouraged by the difficulty they would face on the short road. The battles they would have to fight. (Exodus 13:17)
It didn’t look like it at the time, but the long road was an expression of God’s careful attention to them.
I’m grateful today to take the long road to the Chapel, and on this journey with Jesus. Whether by the long road or the short road, the Lord has established a sacred space for me in the journey.
Lord, let the posture of my heart remain ‘yes’ to you. Let my ears remain open to your invitation. Keep me in the center of the joy that is knowing you, as my Lord and as my friend.
Jesus, walking with you today.
Jesus, faithfully leading you tomorrow.
Jesus, friend of sinners, inviting you – always.