I hope you’ve had a great week. I have once again reached a Friday having accomplished close to nothing I had planned for the week. I’ll chalk it up to post-vacation blues, but I think part of it is just never having any time alone. The high-octane mode of cleaning, or insanely focused productivity, that I sometimes channel has been missing since March. It’s a phenomenon that requires an otherwise empty house.
Anyway, we’ve all heard the folksy claim that people used to have to walk miles to school, in the snow, uphill in both directions. And while that’s obviously an exaggeration, it does seem like people used to be hardier. I mean I feel like there’s an epidemic of wimping out. Obviously, attributing lack of productivity to post-vacation blues is the pinnacle of wimpiness. Thankfully I’ve come across a wonderful little poem that addresses this precise issue. It’s more than 150 years old and may or may not have been intended as a devotional, but can definitely be used as one. Take a minute and read it a few times.
Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.
But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.
Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.
Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.
My friends, we need to toughen up! We need to embrace the truth that it is uphill, to the very end. Jesus told us we would have trouble and yet we act so surprised when troubles come. Where did this sense of entitlement to smooth sailing come from? Who started the myth that calm waters are anything but temporary? Harbors like the one pictured above are photo-worthy because they are so unusual.
Even though Rosetti’s poem is titled Up-Hill, there are at least four hopeful takeaways: (1) Others are on the journey, too; (2) The resting place cannot be missed; (3) The door is left open for you; and (4) There are beds for all who come.
What amazingly applicable words for today.
Jesus provides strength for the journey, a community to encourage you along the way, peace in all circumstances, and a bed in your forever home. Shouldn’t this all spur us on to be at least a little hardier?
And you want to hear some even better news? “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV
Can I get an Amen?
Lord Jesus help me to be grateful for the many gifts for the journey and for the eternal glory that outweighs momentary troubles. Help me to encourage others and not be at all surprised that it is uphill, all the way. Thank you for loving me and giving me Rossetti’s poem.