Today’s post is written by Chris Cairo, member of Easter Lutheran’s Vision Board:
I think many of you have seen the movies or read the books of The Chronicles of Narnia, written by C.S. Lewis.
Lewis also wrote many other books, including Mere Christianity, which I received as a Christmas book this year (great read—I highly recommend). In it he talks about Christianity as a map. I will try to do his analogy justice.
If you spent the day up in Duluth, on the shore of Lake Superior, you could admire its majestic beauty, and imagine its size. But if you needed to find a friend’s cabin somewhere on the coast, you would want Google maps or your phone’s GPS. The map is valuable because others have explored this area before you and their collective wisdom and data guides you to your destination, and helps you from getting lost on your journey. Religion (such as Christianity) is our map to God.
When my wife and I travel in Europe (and I know a number of you studied abroad, so you can probably relate), we always have an actual map with us, along with our phones GPS, but sometimes that’s not enough. Paris and Rome can still be confusing when everything is foreign and in a foreign language. We have found that asking for help and directions is not only practical, but enhances our trip. People add context and color that a map can’t; not only can they tell us the best way to get where we want to go, but point out great sites along the way, they give us history of where we are going, and facts we would have never known left to our own exploring. And we meet some very interesting people! (Google can’t compare to the intoxicated man I talked to in Florence who helped us find the David!)
I am sure you could see Europe by yourself. But when we travel as a family, or with friends, we experience more, we enjoy more …the journey itself becomes a part of the trip…and God designed us to be in community with each other as we seek Him…and when we “journey” with other Christians we experience God more fully (think of your mission trips).
If ‘religion’ is a like a map, then church activities (such as attending worship, bible study groups, Christian campus groups, small faith groups, etc.) and even just spending time with other Christians provides the color commentary that makes our journey towards God come alive.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another… (Hebrews 10:24-25)
So, who are you traveling with?