by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey
Folks are tired of all the upheaval and ready to be done with this. Some tell me they “want to start living again.” That’s a normal response to difficulties. When I was locked up, my favorite pastime was fantasizing about my release. After I got out, I started longing for a job. Then I was dreaming of finishing my master’s degree. Next, I wished to be married. In retrospect, I see how much I grew in those tough seasons and wish I hadn’t wished so much of my life away.
I look at the life of Jesus and see He got a lot accomplished when He was on His way somewhere. He liked the journey. Despite knowing His ultimate destination was the cross, He never wasted a moment of His life worrying about what was to come. He always took time to teach, heal, hang out with reprobates, and create a lot of ruckus with the uber-religious. I, too, like to stir the pot with our modern-day Pharisees, so those are some of my favorite stories. But the story that resonates with me right now is one that happened the first Easter morning after the crucifixion.
Two of Jesus’ followers were walking away from Jerusalem on a journey to a place called Emmaus. They were distraught over the crucifixion and the discovery of the empty tomb, as they didn’t know Jesus had risen. Along the way, they met what they thought was a stranger, but it was Jesus who kept them from recognizing Him. He asked them why they were so sad. Surprised this supposed stranger didn’t know about the crucifixion, they told Him how the person they believed to be the Messiah had been killed, and the body was missing.
He could have eased their pain immediately by letting them know it was Him, but He didn’t. Instead, He walked along with them and told them how all of Scripture pointed to the Messiah. He showed them Himself in the Scriptures.
It was the most important lesson they had ever learned, but it was taught during their hardest time. Moreover, they were accompanied by their risen Savior and didn’t even know it. When they got to their destination, Jesus revealed Himself to them and then vanished. Elated, they ran all the way back to Jerusalem. Their destination no longer mattered. What mattered was that Jesus had accompanied them on their journey.
Most of my clients are destination focused. They come to me because they are in crisis. Regardless of the dilemma, mental illness, or marital issue, they all want to be on the other side of their predicament. Some white-knuckle it the whole way through. Others settle into the process and decide to enjoy the journey. One of my clients says he has learned to “embrace the suck.”
Embrace the suck. As crude as that is, I like it. It’s a way of becoming fearless and gaining control when everything feels so out of control. We all know we can’t do a darn thing about COVID, politics, world peace, or the economy. What we can do is quit wishing we were in another time, ask Jesus what He wants to teach us in this season and lean into it.
A friend of mine told me she asked her 6-year-old son how he felt about the pandemic. He said, “Mom, I’m not worried because I’m living my best life.” Hilarious and priceless. If a 6-year-old can be living his best life during a pandemic, surely, we can all get a grip and start enjoying our lives again!