A little over a year ago, I purchased a used 2019 Toyota Camry. That is the first car that I have owned that has Apple CarPlay, where an in-cabin screen displays the map and GPS information from my phone during travel. For me, GPS is an incredible blessing. Before using GPS, I typically felt pressure in trying to estimate when I would arrive at a destination, not wanting to be late. If I came across a traffic jam or accident, my tension level would increase. Personally, I hate being late, but I also despise not knowing for sure whether I would be early or late, or even if I was on the best route to my destination.
GPS has changed all that. I appreciate that the service identifies my final location, the best route to that site, and provides an estimated time for arrival. Rarely is my actual arrival more than a few minutes different than what was estimated, which provides me with a great sense of peace. My arrival at my destination is secure (or at least as secure as it can be in this life!).
Perhaps that is also why I have the same sense of peace about my earthly life. I am on a journey, and my destination is secure. I know that this world is not my home, but I have absolute certainty of my final destination through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The Bible is my “GPS”, guiding, encouraging, and providing the certainty of salvation. Scripture goes even a step further, establishing my identity not in who I think I am or what Satan wants me to think about myself. Instead, my identity is as a son of the King. What a blessing!
Recently I heard some of my students talk about our chapel messages and their theology classes. To paraphrase, their commentary went something like this: “We have heard SO many times that our identity is in Christ. Isn’t it time to talk about something else in chapel?” Or, “I get the idea that earth is not my home. Why do we have to hear that repeatedly in theology class?”
When I overheard these thoughts, my first reaction was thankfulness. Satan’s devious strategies include prompting any of us to think too much of this world and to press us to wallow in our sins. The evil one wants to steal the certain hope we have of a secure destination we have (heaven!) through any means possible. And as sinful humans in a fallen world, we need the repeated message of grace and salvation, even when we think we have heard it too often!
I am thankful my students expressed their thoughts about chapel messages and theology classes. That means that my colleagues are regularly sharing the hope of a secure destination. No one can hear that too often! And isn’t sharing this message our greatest privilege as educators in Lutheran ministries?
My students need to be reminded of their final, secure destination every day. I NEED to be reminded of my final, secure destination every day. Just as utilizing a GPS system has brought me greater peace of mind, the gift of sharing this hope we share in Jesus Christ brings the peace of mind we all need. Embrace the privilege of championing the gift of our secure destination with our students, through the help of the Holy Spirit! Make sure they hear of this blessing EVERY DAY!