Christ salvation

We can compromise on anything but salvation – Kiowa County Signal

By Alesa Miller Pastor’s wife and Special mission partner at Signal

Last week, one of our ministry adventures took us to Woodston, Kansas, home to a family church camp that our family has attended on and off for about 30 years. This week we set out to share our ministry with these fine people and serve at the campsite while we were there.

We also had another friend from the ministry who also came to serve at the camp, but her family came from a different direction the day after us.

As we were on the road, about halfway through, I received an excited phone call from our friend asking “Are you there?!” Honestly, I was confused by her question because we weren’t meeting there until the next day and our trip was probably three times longer than hers, so I didn’t know why she was concerned about our location. But I politely said no and explained where we were and talked about our lunch plans.

About an hour or two later I got another phone call from her asking me the same thing. Throughout the trip I got about 3-4 phone calls from her and I started to feel like I had a toddler in the backseat wanting to know “Are we there yet?”

At one point in one of our many conversations, she explained that her family doesn’t stop and that she gets to her destination as quickly as possible. I don’t know if she was trying to be helpful to me or if she just thought she was better than my family. I finally said to her, “Look, over the years (I’m about 20 years older than her), Jeff and I have learned that when we travel, we try to schedule enough time, so that we can take our time and stop as often as we want to enjoy our travels and see new things along the way.

We want to enjoy the journey instead of running past it”

After that, I didn’t hear from her again until the next day, when I called her and asked, “Are you still there?” I mean, if she was such an efficient traveler, I figured I might as well watch her. Shortly after, she arrived at our campsite.

It is always at this time of year (my birthday) that I reflect on what the last years of life have brought me. Now don’t be surprised that just because I celebrated my 29th birthday just because I celebrated my 27th birthday. That I think I’m getting old. But I think I’ve gained a lot more wisdom over the years and I’m grateful for that.

You see in this life I’ve seen a lot of things I’ve done a lot of things and I thought as a friend my way was the only right way and as a friend I would drive my other friends crazy expecting them to be like me. I was scared and insecure because of everything I had seen and been through in ministry.

But in this life, I also came to the conclusion. I have nothing more to prove to anyone. I try to slow things down. Although how else can I do when you’re married to a good old southern boy!

I’m not going to lie, I always have a mini panic attack when we’ve been out too long just to take a walk on Sundays as we explore our travels. But I’m grateful to a man who helped me learn to slow down. (I dare say I probably taught her to speed up, so maybe there was even another purpose for us to get married.) We somehow managed to meet in the middle.

You know, in this lifetime we may think that our way is the only “right way” to walk the road of life that we are on. But, not everyone was made to follow the same path as you, in terms of career, road, material, ambition, church or journey.

But we know there is only one “right way” to heaven and that is by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems to be straight, but in the end it leads to death.

My friend basically told me that ‘her way’ was the only right way to travel, when finally I had to straighten her up very gently and told her, in my experience of celebrating my 29th birthday, I knew a little more than she did and with that experience under my belt. I had done it his way and I had done it my way and there were no trophies at the end of the line as we raced to the next destination. But there was a reward of memories made and time spent with each other as we allowed our journey to explore this great countryside of ours, instead of trying to get past it quickly just so we could say that we got there in record time.

Life is like that, our children can choose a different profession than we had hoped for. Our families can disappoint us by moving us away from the part of the country that we may never see leaving. But there’s one thing we can’t compromise on: that’s how we get to heaven. This should be our life’s destination and the Bible tells us there is only one way. Jesus replied, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would also know my Father. Now you know him and you have seen him. John 14:6

Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life. No one gets to heaven without first going through Him. So, in our time when there are many options in life and lifestyles, perhaps we need to focus not on our differences, but on what we value the most.

After all, we as followers of Christ are called to do one thing “Love one another as I have loved you” John 13:34 (see also 1 John 4:7).

There is an old adage “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”. So now we are as sweet as honey to those around us, even though they may have chosen a different path in life, a different way to live, or even a different church to attend.

I find that when I do what God has called me to do, it leaves room for Him to come in and do only what He can do.

To learn more about Alesa Lewis Miller and the ministry she and her husband are part of, visit www.millers4usmissions. com and find out how they are now strengthening churches, changing lives, one project at a time. Also, get ready for more of her writing as she releases her first book “Behind the Parsonage Walls” this summer, to stay up to date, follow her on her Facebook page with the same title.