Have you ever wondered about the clichés passed from one generation to another? I always wondered about the one “all roads lead to Rome”, why; Rome? Why not France or Greece or some other place. For some time this troubled me, then; after some study of the subject I found Rome was the seat of great power in it’s day, anyone who considered themselves of prominence lived in, worked in, served in or fought in the army for Rome. It was the center of the known world during it’s time of rulership, people of every nation visited, traded in or lived there.
Rome played a pivotal role in the life of Christ and His followers, many of them experienced what could be considered unexpected results from their time spent there. As travelers on the road of life, some of us have clear direction in mind when we start the journey, plans made; goals set. We feel prepared for the path we have chosen, there will be no surprises; the question comes to mind, can anyone really be prepared for the unexpected? History has provided us with great examples of travelers who’s meeting with the unexpected changed their lives forever.
Example #1- you could say he had everything he wanted; a wife and kids, much property, and many servants. He was well respected for his faith and generosity, little did he know he was chosen as the subject of an experiment between two unseen forces; one good and one evil. As all heaven witnessed, the challenge began; the chosen subject was pummeled with the unexpected. Everything he loved was stripped away from him; first his kids, then his property, his servants and finally his health; the only thing that remained was a faithless wife and fault finding friends. The mans faith was not shaken, with all he endured he held fast to the fact that his God loved him and he would be faithful no matter what happened to him. In the end restoration came to him and he received double what he had before.
Example #2- His trajectory was set, he was going places, a Pharisee of great learning and high status. He was a strong supporter of the Mosaic laws, anything contrary to the teaching of the Rabbis to him was blasphemy. He was so zealous for the laws he became a persecutor or those who had chosen to follow the teachings of the crucified, but; risen Christ. Some were imprisoned and some were martyred for their beliefs. On a journey to search out and arrest Christian believers, the unexpected happened; he came face to face with the risen Christ. The transformation he received set him on a new course, he became what he had previously despised, a follower of the Risen Christ. His character was changed and he became a great disciple of the Most High.
The final example was most fascinating to me- she was a woman of reputation, especially among the men; it seemed she was possessed and just could not help herself. When she came face to face with the unexpected, in His face was a kindness she could not understand, in His voice compassion she had never heard spoken to her, and in His eyes no judgement of her; but, it was His hands that gave her healing. Unfortunately, the forces of darkness are strong and unwilling to let go; she knew she could be free completely so she sought out His help and forgiveness once more. Again He showered her with love without judgement, it is said He cast out 7 demons from her. She was made new and the demons that had controlled her life were gone forever and her total submission to Him became her new life.
Who are you? Does your life shadow any of these examples? Are you ready for the unexpected? All roads don’t lead to Rome, they lead to LIFE or DEATH, the road of life is found in the Risen Christ; the way of the world is the road to destruction, what road have you chosen? The lessons of these examples teach us it’s not to late to change our course, to seek forgiveness or to activate our Faith. There is no in between, only life or death; choose life.
My revelation as I sit by the pool of grace