So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you'll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ. (Colossians 3:1-4, The Message)
To say that it was a beautiful wedding would be a vast understatement. It was simply elegant … and elegantly simple. Choosing an outdoor venue in early November - even when it the venue is in North Carolina - is a risk. Then again, the entire concept of marriage is a risk as well. Yet, on what was a near-perfect November Saturday, my young friends Dru and Emily threw caution to the wind and pledged themselves to one another for the rest of their lives. They stood there in front of our pastor on a simple platform, accessed by an “aisle” of Fall’s best leaves. It was just the three of them up there - neither had an entourage of attendants - with all the rest of us sitting or standing and observing.
Oh, and then there was the simple reception complete with dancing. Our church gymnasium looked equally elegant for that part and you could tell by the laughter and activity that this was a special celebration. As I hugged each of them, I knew they and everyone else enjoyed the day to the utmost. And that’s exactly as it should be, for there are few other earthly celebrations that match the picture of God’s tireless love for and pursuit of us.
It came together as my pastor gave his message from Colossians. As I often do, I looked at the other translations available to me and focused again on Peterson’s rendering of the text. The words “don’t shuffle along” leapt off the page. God wants us to put a spring in our step, to walk with a purpose. I saw that very walk when Dru and his family went up that path of leaves. I saw it again as Emily and her father took the same path. And I most definitely saw it as Dru picked up his new bride and carried her … at least for a short distance … back the same way. They had done all this with a purpose. They had made those trips because of what had happened in the past, what was happening at that moment, and for the promise of what was to come.
Paul told the Colossian church the same thing. They needed to walk with a purpose because of what Christ had done for them and the relationship they had embraced with their Savior. They needed to walk as a people with a living, active connection to their Savior and to those who had gone before them and were already “at the dance”. They were pressing on toward that future state when they would see a return not only of Christ, but of all that was.
As I travel my own Crooked Path, I need to do the same thing. I am on the path for a reason – I have a Savior who has made provision for me to be here. He is actively involved in my life so that I can be His light to those around me as I travel. And He is most definitely waiting for me at the end … He’s there to usher me into a guaranteed future for which I was designed. I need to stop shuffling and look up. I need to set my heart that which is yet before me. And I need to do it with a spring in my step.