The Rev. Leigh Spruill shared a story of a recent road trip through Georgia to visit his daughter at her college’s Parents Weekend. Unfortunately, Leigh and his wife Susalee left Nashville and began traveling on the highway on a busy Friday afternoon at the peak of rush hour. Just north of Atlanta, Leigh realized that like their companions on the road, they’d traveled only 4 miles in a little over one hour. It wasn’t until they had finally reached the top of a hill that they could see a sign way up ahead for the exit they needed. Although they weren’t traveling any faster, at least they knew that they were almost there. It was comforting to know they were close to their final destination.
In the 65th chapter of Isaiah, we read about new heavens and new earth where there will be joy, and God will delight in his people and rejoice. There will be no more weeping or distress, vineyards and fruit will be plentiful, and people will enjoy their work. All will be well with the world.
As Christians, we see glimpses of God’s kingdom breaking through to Earth. We have remarkable evidence of healing in our midst, of the poor being cared for, and people being freed from their burdens and addictions. Evidence of heaven already surrounds us here on Earth.
Leigh remarked that it would have been great if people who knew the road well to Atlanta had walked among the cars and proclaimed to the travelers miles in advance that the exit they were looking for was “just a few miles ahead.” It gives us hope to know that we are going in the right direction and will soon arrive.
Just like signposts on the highway, it is our responsibility to give others hope by acting as navigators to encourage others and help them find their way. We need to be the beacon of light that demonstrates that heaven is “just a few miles ahead.”
Blessings, my friend,
(Excerpts from the sermon by the Rev. Leigh Spruill at St. George’s Episcopal Church, Nashville, TN on November 17, 2013)
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