“Life is Like a Journey” - that is the motto that I have chosen for myself. I don’t know what thoughts cross your mind when you hear the word journey - it could be when you are taking a trip across Canada or flying to another country for a holiday. It could be when the doctor tells you have cancer or some other disease and you don’t know what challenges lie ahead for you or your loved ones.
But let me introduce myself first - I am Victor Koop and I am the Pastor of the Sage Hills Evangelical Free Church. My wife’s name is Gail and we have just moved from Dorion, Ontario - a small community just 70 km from Thunder Bay.
I grew up in Chilliwack, but moved to the prairies in 1976 and have lived in Alberta and Saskatchewan and, now the last five and a half years, in Ontario. My wife and I are excited about living in this community and want to get to know the people and be involved in the community.
We have been on a journey for the last six months, listening to God’s voice as He has clearly directed us to this community and to this church. Listening to God’s voice takes time. You need to be quiet and then ready and willing to follow Him wherever He leads you. Our journey with God led us from Ontario to Ashcroft, BC.
The word “journey” - what does it mean? To me it means that I have not arrived and that the final destination is still to come. For all of us our journey on this earth begins when we are born and ends when we die. Many people get all excited when you talk about a baby being born. We don’t want to talk much about the end of the journey when we die. When you think about it, you have no choice when or where you were born or who your parents would be. God was involved in making these decisions. But as you get older you become more and more independent, wanting to make your own decisions, such as: Where do I want to live? Who will I marry? What career should I choose? Then later you want to decide where you will retire. But as you encounter health issues you may have to choose where you will spend the last years of your life - in your own home, in a senior’s home or in the hospital. Or it may be that others will make those choices for you and it may be out of your control.
But today I want to challenge you to think about your journey toward God. For some of you, it may not have been important to you. Maybe your parents were not religious or church-going people so you did not go or even think much about God. All of you who are reading this article have experienced being born, but you have not experienced death. This may sound scary, but as a Pastor I want to encourage you to think about what happens when you die and are you ready to meet God.
The Bible has some verses to help us on our journey so that we are ready to die. Psalm 90: 9-10 - “All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. The length of our days is seventy years - or eighty, if we have the strength.” Then verse 12 says, “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
I want to challenge you today wherever you are in your journey in life - to think about where that journey will end. I encourage you this week, or this next month to begin that journey, if you have not already done so. Find a church where God’s word is preached and the gospel is shared and you can find answers to the unanswered questions you might have. If you would like to ask further questions please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Pastor Vic at 453-9086 (home) or 453-9033 at my office.