Typically, we hire a guide for two basic reasons. (1) The guide can lead us to a new, unknown destination. (2) The guide knows how to lead us to that destination safely. In the process of taking us where we wish to go safely, the guide blesses us in many ways. He knows how to care for the unexpected. We do not. He knows how to identify and interpret dangers. We do not.

An expert guide's value is seen in his understanding and knowledge. He knows when to be concerned--and when not to be. We who need a guide commonly lack that understanding and knowledge. Things that seem strange or out of place concern us. Such things may be nothing more than ignorance. We often are unconcerned about true danger. Lack of concern about true danger does not neutralize it.

To lead us safely to our destination, the guide is equipped with insights that realize when concern is necessary--and unnecessary. To utilize all the guide's ability, to make his task "possible," we must trust the guide. If our guide is skilled and knowledgeable, he leads and we diligently follow. We never forget he is the guide. We always remember that we are followers. We understand our guide is always necessary.

All of us are on a journey going where none of us have been. None of us know how to recognize all the dangers. None of us know when to be and not to be concerned. Without question or argument, we need a guide.

Each day is a new adventure. Each age is a new territory. As the adult journey begins, we are blessed physically, but have little experience. As our journey nears its end, we have a lot of experience, but physically have declined. In our early years, the destination is so far away it seems unreal. In our later years, the destination is so close we cannot ignore it. Our own deaths are the doorway to our destination.

Only one person made the journey, passed through death's doorway, and returned to be our guide. Less than 24 hours before passing through that doorway, he told his closest friends, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me" (John 14:6).

Jesus is the only guide who can take us safely to our destination. Jesus knows how to live, how to die, and how to go to the Father. He knows how to endure temptation and not sin. He knows how to forgive. He knows how to live and die in peace. He knows false danger and real danger, and he knows how to distinguish between the two.

We do not know how to live, how to die, or the way to the Father. Of ourselves, we do not know how to endure temptation, forgive, live in peace, die in peace, or distinguish between false and real dangers.

We urgently need the only guide available. Is Jesus your guide?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 15 July 2001

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