It was the evening of October 15th of this year and I decided to go for a long walk in the neighborhood. It is an old and prestigious neighborhood filled with sprawling homes and mansions with majestic old oak trees that line the yards and sidewalks. I enjoy the aesthetics as there is much character and charm with these homes and yards, as well as the sidewalks which are made of stone, concrete, and brick. Leaves had begun to fall from the trees and lay on the sidewalk adding to the anticipation of the fall season. I shuffled through the sidewalk hearing the crunching sound of dry leaves and acorns underneath my shoes. I took my usual route down the street and began my spiritual act of worship. The outdoors has meaning to me. Being outside has always been a form of internal healing, mind relaxation, intellectual creativity, and physical release. It is during these times I lay down my burdens with every step I take along the way. Walking in the open outdoors are the most precious times of my day where I am equally open in my conversations with my Divine Creator.
An anomaly. A deviation to the standard, to the normal, to the eye and to the sound. To the average path or pace of the world and humanity. Everywhere I go, everywhere I am, is somewhere, some place, or some part of me, that is a deviation from what is known the world over. I am an anomaly it seems, a deviation to life and to myself. To live as normal, to have as normal, is contrary to the anomaly of me, my substance, and my existence in this world. I do not recognize the world I live in, nor does it recognize me. I do not fit and it does not fit me. As though I am a reject among this earthly terrain. I have continued to travel down a path completely in another direction. It feels so cruel. Who do I live for, if I do not live for myself? How can I be fully known if I am in the constant motion of my travels not long enough to be known? Somehow I do not own this journey, it owns me. Yet I travel through the halls of the cosmic sphere by the mere essence of grace. Grace carries my anomalaic travels to the unknown.
So I travel, as an anomaly traveler. The anomaly comes to others, not for oneself, and not of the self. The purpose for which is to meet a need, a lesson, a truth, an option, a possibility, unbeknownst to the other person. I search for the other side, whatever side that may be. I long for my removal and the world that encompasses me. I do not belong. It does not belong to me. There is no everlasting. People come to me and I wonder what is on the other side. Will I ever truly live my own life, my own desires, my own dreams apart from what life has me living for? What have I missed, or has it missed me? Was there a place I was meant to go long ago or was it meant to follow me? Am I writing my story or is someone else writing it for me? There is nothing that weighs me down except the world’s resistance from my own presence. An anomaly traveler, traveling through time and space to those who I am to be there for without anything in return. Traveling not of my choice but of someone else’s choosing.
And so, my life is an anomaly, as an anomaly traveler…
As I was approaching the end of my walk toward my residence and was about to cross the street, I saw a car stalled in the middle of the road. I didn’t think much of it so I crossed the street and stood on the esplanade while cars were passing by. I continued to watch what was happening and noticed it was a lady and a young girl, obviously a mother and her daughter in the car. The mother keep cranking the engine but it wasn’t starting. I knew then, this moment was meant for me, waiting for my arrival. Where they sent to me, or was I sent to them? So, I crossed the street and walked up to the passenger side of the car and motioned for the daughter to roll down the window. I asked what was wrong and if I could help in some way. The mother said no, but kept trying to start the car. The girl smiled at me and said they were on their way to her homecoming game and proudly showed me the mum on her arm. I said to her “you’ll get to your game.” So I stretched out my arm and held out my hand toward them and said aloud, “in the name of Jesus Christ, this car will start.” Immediately, the car started. The mother was stunned and the daughter sat up straight, looked at me with the biggest smile and said “Wow that was cool!” Her mother asked me if there was a place they could go and pull over to look at directions to her daughter’s game and I pointed down the street and told them to drive past the intersection, and turn to the right into the shopping center I felt was safe. I also said out loud, “Lord, let them go to all the places they need to be and get them home safely tonight.” Looking at the girl I said, “you will make your game tonight.” She smiled brightly and they said goodbye. I stood at the corner and watched them drive down the road like a mother looking after her children.
As I walked away, I knew yet again, that I do not own my life, but someone else does. Where that someone is, I am there, too. An anomaly traveler.
And Jesus said to the disciples…
“He who loves his life loses it and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me, and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” (John 12: 25-26)
The Greeks approached a few of the disciples and asked to see Jesus. Jesus answered them explaining that the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. To understand this, we have to reach back to verse 24 when He was speaking of His imminent death and said “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it does, it bears much fruit.” Christ is the grain of wheat and His death would produce fruit and result in believers living for Him. His death is symbolized by the grain of wheat which introduces the subject conveyed in verse 25.
In verse 25 Jesus said “He who loves his life loses it.” He was referring to those who love the world. In this regard, loving the world could mean a love for the material aspects of life or idolizing people in a way that demonstrates a love of preference for this world rather than a preference in the things of God. As a result, worldly matters take precedence over spiritual matters. In so doing, a life without Christ is no life at all. To this extent, a person may never come to salvation in Christ and would lose his or her life eternally.
However, Jesus said “…he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.” Does Jesus mean “hate” in the way we understand “hate?” No. The word “hate” means to “love less.” For one to love less his or her life, means that the things of life do not have priority to serving Christ. Therefore, a person who hates his life in this world means they have come to salvation and exalts Christ above all matters in life, and results in life eternal.
Jesus goes on to say, “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me, and where I am, there shall My servant also be.” When someone loves less their life, they follow Him and thus serve Him. They cannot do anything else but to follow and serve Christ, there is no other. Life can lose its meaning to the point there is no serving oneself or one’s purpose. It is, in a spiritual sense, a dying to self, and a death to life. The end result is following and serving Christ with such a love for Him that one loses the love for self, hates life, and is committed to following Him wherever He goes. Such servitude to Christ means that where He is you will be there also with Him. With Him in the Spirit in this life and with Him in eternity.
Lastly, Jesus said “if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” In other words, as a servant of Christ, the servant follows Christ unto death. That is, a spiritual death to self, and thus death in this life to gain a life eternal. Such a sacrificial death results in being honored by the Father. It is a recompense for pain and suffering and losses in this world as a result of hating one’s life and following Christ in service to Him. The Father will honor the one who serves His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. It is an honor the Father bestows on a servant that is true and lasting for eternity.
My life is not my own. It is an anomaly. For many, many years as I have continued to follow my Christ, my life has been interesting. There are many things that do not make sense to me and I have yet to find the answers that I have been looking for. Though it may seem that I travel, it is that I travel for someone else or something else. Never seemingly to be for my own purpose but for another purpose. In my travels I search for my soul within a soul. The soul of myself and of my other self that has been created for the purpose of Christ in our lives. My soul is in servitude to my Soul Maker.
Where Christ is I am there also. So I travel. Traveling through the cosmic sphere in this life for the unknown and to that unbeknownst to me.
His path is my path. Where He travels, I travel there also. An anomaly traveler.
Copyright @ 2021. The Word in Motion
Photocredit: from the Hubble Space Telescope