There is a very old story about a man who lived in a village called Nowhere, and while most of the occupants were content, he hated it! He wanted to go to a place called Somewhere, where he would find peace and happiness. It haunted his dreams till one day he took a leap of faith and left Nowhere to being his journey to Somewhere.
Before too long he came to a village and enthusiastically asked if this was Somewhere. No! They told him – you are on the right road but you will never find it if you don’t have a dream in your eye! Where do I get that? He asked and they sent him to The Ancient in the village who opened his eyes to a vision of Somewhere and so he continued his journey.
Surely this next village will be Somewhere, but no, they said – you are on the right track but you need more than a dream in your eye, you need a voice in your ear as well. But where do I find that he asked? They sent him to the top of a high mountain that overshadowed the village. As he struggled towards the top he heard the call of God in his ears, clarifying the vision he had already received and confirming that he was going in the right direction.
At the next village he was dismayed to find that he had still not arrived at Somewhere and the area he needed to pass through was hostile, and if he was to continue he would need a sword in his hand. This was against his principles but he finally agreed and The Ancient in the village presented him with a book which gave him both offensive and defensive capabilities to overcome all the forces against him. This knowledge helped him to courageously stand against the evil that tried to send him back to Nowhere.
Finally he came to another village – surely this is Somewhere, but no, you have a dream in your eye and a voice in your ear and a sword in your hand but you lack a song in your heart. It was then that he realised that he was so task orientated – focussing on getting to Somewhere that he had failed to enjoy the journey and appreciate the journey of the road and suddenly it all made sense.
God calls all of us to be going Somewhere. He wants to give us a dream in our eye and a vision for the future. He wants to speak to us and give us a voice in our ear so that we can learn what is really important. To continue that journey He calls us to take courage and face our enemies with a sword in our hand – the Word of God. Finally He shows us even through the hard times that it is not just the end of the road that brings joy – but we need to have a song in our hearts each day of the journey and in His good time we will reach Somewhere!
Chaplain Ian Whitley