As I write this post I am torn between continuing with the relational journey my wife and I are on or to continue on the importance of the personal relationship with the Father—especially in light of the recent decisions made about life in America. The very essence of the unexpected journey is the fact that “unexpected” things happen which require adjustments be made. The challenge in making the adjustment is not to loose sight of the original journey. A close personal relationship with the godhead—Father, son and Holy Spirit—will ultimately guide you along the path in every other journey you will encounter. For example this journey with my wife has taken several different paths based on our own personal relationship with the Father. The things I was doing in our journey have changed because my journey with the Lord has changed—becoming more intimate. It is important to realize that the journey is alive; it grows or dies based on the activity—or lack thereof—I devote to it. This means if I concentrate all of my efforts on the journey with my wife, I will weaken the relationship with the Lord. As difficult as it may be to understand, building the relationship with my Lord will build the relationship with my spouse. It is the apostle Paul that addresses this in his writings (Ephesians, Colossians) to the church. I can say this with assurance because I have experienced it—at least to some degree. There is a passage in the New Testament book of Revelation that declares that the believer overcomes by three components; the shed blood of the lamb, their personal testimony and realizing they are already dead. The significance of this passage is both simple as well as amazing. I cannot—nor am I expected to—do this on my own. It is all because of Jesus and the sacrifice he willingly made that allows me the opportunity to take this journey. My part in this is to rest in him and follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit. This leads me to my testimony. I am now able to testify to the fact that I cannot do this, but that I cannot be defeated because of what Jesus has done for me. I like to say it this way, You can’t loose for winning! The third component is the most amazing part of this passage. I’m a dead-man! Have you ever attempted to have a conversation with a dead person? Have you ever tried to hurt a dead person? It is obviously pointless because they are dead. The concept is easier stated than practiced, but consider Jesus. On the night of his betrayal he is in the garden having a very serious conversation with his father. I am paraphrasing what he said, but it went something like this. “I’d like to talk with you about this plan that we agreed on,” Jesus said to his father. “What is it you would like to discuss,” asked his father? Jesus continued, “I would like to see if there is another way to accomplish it without going down this road? Now that I am here in the middle of the moment, the task looks overwhelming.” The father lovingly looks Jesus in the eyes asking, “Have you changed your mind about carrying out the plan?” “Oh no,” Jesus quickly replies. “It is just a very huge burden that is in front of me. If there isn’t another way, I am ready to do your will.”

That is called a dead-man’s conversation. For the next 12-16 hours Jesus endures unexplainable pain and suffering in order to fulfill the Father’s plan of eternal salvation. The point being is the fact that when you are dead your feelings, thoughts or desires (willingly) take a backseat to the will, plan and purpose of the Father. It does not mean that you do not have feelings; it means that you convey them to the Father alone. There are numerous stories in the Old Testament where the Father asked one thing and the saint asked for something else only to have the Father grant it. This is why building a deep personal relationship with the Father is of most importance. It will enable you to build all other relationships in your journey. This is why I am tossed in what to write about. To continue along the relational journey with my wife could possibly come off as a “counseling” session; which of course is not my intent. To continue along the journey of personal intimacy with the Father will ensure that all other relationships in the journey will find their proper place. Happy belated Independence day.