How many times have you entered a multistory building and had the choice between an elevator, an escalator and the stairs? Many places with multiple levels provide you with these choices. The question we have to ask ourselves is “Which one do I want to take?”.
Each of these choices offer something different and each of us will give a variety of reasons to use one or the other. Claustrophobic people would probably opt for the escalator even if it meant an extra few minutes of riding. Others may opt to take the escalator for the more leisurely journey up observing the surroundings around them and taking in the view of each level or because it is more “acceptable” to carry on a conversation with a friend. Escalators provide a great advantage and way to observe because of their openness and view they provide.
People in a hurry to get to the top of tall building will often wait a short period time for the elevator to get there hoping for an “express” ride to their floor while secretly hoping there are not too many who want to get on or off on the floors before them. Each ride can also be a time when we take time to reflect on where we are going, where we have been, or what lies ahead. While on the elevator it also provides an opportunity to quickly observe people in close proximity and more often than not without saying a word. For some there is also a sense of relief when they get off the elevator – not having to say a word and rarely making eye contact.
Then there are the stairways. This is a totally different journey. Because they are in confined areas it is rare that you would meet someone along the way and when you do hear someone there is an apprehension that arises about who that person is and what they are like. For some it is a sense of potentially impending danger. For some simply it is a time of solitude and definitely an avenue of physical exertion. If you have a fitness device you can be sure it will add up the calories burned and floors you have accomplished.
No matter which journey you chose each is of these journeys is unique and the people surrounding us may or may not be the same people we see each time. If we are shopping or visiting they will probably not be the same ones however if we work it that building or place there is a possibility they may be the same people. Each time we take the journey the purpose will probably be different, and the end of the each journey will probably have a different result. Even if we are going to the office or workplace, each journey will be different in some way if we really observe our surroundings. Each day we face new challenges whether at work, home, in our community and yes even in our church fellowship.
When we read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ journeys and miracles each was different. The disciples observed this while they were with Jesus and after the resurrection Jesus came back and gave them the great commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Each of them knew it would be a unique journey. They did not know what they would encounter on that journey or they were to go. We too, like the disciples, are called to a unique journey. As the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 29:11) reminds us “that God has a plan for us” and God gives us His strength and His grace through the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the journey. What we need to remember is there are many ways to celebrate the journey; the journey of sharing the Gospel. Some will take the elevator, some will take the escalator, some will take the stairs. Our journey may start one way i.e. the escalator and finish with the other. God has given each of us a different callings to ministry. We are all given different gifts that God will use so we can reach others. We may start on the elevator and move to the escalator. Some may even find themselves taking the stairway. Our tasks may change but our race is the same, spreading the Gospel through building relationships with those we meet. Knowing when and how to graciously accept changes can be exciting and some times painful. The Apostle Paul reminds us that we should run a good race; finishing the journey thus running and finishing the race God has given us to run. And when we get frustrated remember it is – He [God] that began a good a work in us and who will see it to completion (Phil. 1:6).
Where does your journey begin, continue, or change? Is it the elevator, the escalator, or the stairs? No journey ends until we are called home by God.