John 14: 16- 17 I am the way, and the truth, and the
life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.
We are about half way through Lent. We are heading to Jerusalem with Jesus, walking next to Him as he ministers Jesus says in John 14: 16- 17, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.
As we look at this as Christians, we see an actual trinity – a living trinity – the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
In Acts 18:26, it teaches about the Way of God. The Way is capitalized because it is a spiritual system of working in and through your life. This capital letter indicates the diety, the spirituality of Jesus, the Godhead. And it indicates that you are living this Way. That focuses on the way you treat your family, your business, your friends. It says that as following the Way, you are truthful; you are living the life in the footsteps of Christ. We focus on the theme that those around us are not seeing us, but they are seeing the ways of our Lord.
Let me tell you a true story about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge which began in 1883. It was an engineering miracle here is why. When John Roebling was inspired for the idea of the Brooklyn Bridge, he took the idea to the greatest engineers of the day. The engineers told him, “No way, it can’t be done.” They told the bankers who were financing the project, “No way, it can’t be done.” But John Roebling believed in his idea. He thought he was inspired by God with the design of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Finally, he got the funding to go ahead. Roebling convinced his son, Washington Roebling, an up-and-coming engineer, that the bridge could be built. The two of them conceived the concept of how it could be accomplished and how to overcome the obstacles. After the financing was arranged, they got started. With unharnessed excitement and energy, they hired a crew and began to build their dream bridge.
The project was only a few months underway when a tragic on-site accident killed John Roebling and severely injured his son. Washington was severely brain-damaged. He was unable to talk, or walk. Everyone thought the project would have to be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones in the whole world who knew how to build a bridge of this expanse. Everyone said it could not be done. They said no-way.
Washington Roebling prayed to God. He had a problem. He could not talk; he could not move anything in his body except for his little finger. He still had the dream of building the bridge. People would visit him and say, “You have got to give up your dream. You can’t talk; you can’t walk; you can’t move; no one else in the world knows how to build this bridge. How can you expect to still build it?”
His wife said, “He has been told by God to build this bridge.”
Over the next couple of years, working with his wife, Washington devised a code. She would put his hand on her arm and he would tap out a code with the one finger. His mind was still sharp, but he could not move his body except for this one finger. He proceeded to build his bridge through his little finger and his wife. No other engineer on the whole planet knew how to build this bridge except for his finger and his sharp mind. It took 13 years of communicating in code with his one finger to build the Brooklyn Bridge, but he did it; rather God did it, through him.
Yes, there is a way!
How many times in our lives have we just thrown up our hands and said, “Okay, that’s it; I tried; I failed. It seems as though the world has collapsed.
Any event can be a millstone around your neck, or it can be a mile-stone. God has given us a Way, and we can allow God to lead us; we can take what God has given us and allow God to come through and God will come through, even if it is through your little finger.
God uses what we have, and gets through what we have, so that the world can have more.
When do we cause waves in our lives? We become wave-makers when we go against God’s plans; we are then in the way. When we listen to others saying that we can’t do something and we believe it, we are allowing negative thoughts to block our walk. If we allow ourselves to think and say these things to ourselves, saying “No Way can I do this,” “Negative thinking is in the way” You make waves for yourself and you are in the way of a problem-solving God.
Have you ever stood on the beach at the edge of the water and watched the waves come in. That wave looks ominous but it quickly flattens out and just bubbles to the edge of the beach and then disappears. But when you are walking with God and are on the Way of God, it does not quickly disappear. You are on a miracle wave and ride the crest of that wave. It is like a miracle because we are committing to being on the Way of God.
Sometimes the waves we create block us. It stops our progress, and it makes us miserable.
Yes there is a way people:
Fear less, hope more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Hate less, love more;
And all good things are yours.
Many of you may be familiar with the great poet Maya Angelou. When she was young, her grandmother raised her in Stamps, Arkansas. Her grandmother had a particular routine when people who were known to be whiners entered her store. Whenever the grandmother saw a complainer coming, she would call Maya from whatever she was doing and say, “Sister, come inside, come.”
Maya said, “Of course, I would obey. My grandmother would ask the
customer, ‘How are you doing, today, Brother Thomas?'”
“The person would reply, ‘Oh, not so good.’ There would be a distant whine in the voice. ‘Not so good, today, sister Henderson. It’s this summer heat. I hate it so much, it frazzles me up and it frazzles me down. I just hate the heat. It is almost killing me.’
“Then my grandmother would stand, her arms folded, and mumble, ‘Uh huh, uh huh.’ She would then cut her eyes to me to make certain that I heard the lamentation.
“Another time, a whiner would moan, ‘Oh, I just hate plowing. That packed down dirt, it ain’t got no reasoning; the mules ain’t got no good sense. It’s killing me. I can never seem to get it done. My feet, my hands are sore; I get dirt in my eyes, and I get dirt up my nose. I just can’t stand it. It is killing me.’
“My grandmother again with her arms folded would stand there and say, ‘Uh huh, uh huh.’ Then she would look at me and nod.
“As soon as the complainer was out of the store, my grandmother would call me to stand in front of her and then she would say the same thing she had said a thousand times before. ‘Sister, did you hear what brother
“I would nod, ‘Yes, Grandma.’
“Grandma would continue, ‘Sister, there were people who went to sleep last night, all over the world – rich and poor, black and white – they will never wake up again. Sister, those expected to rise did not; their beds became cooling boards and their blankets became their winding sheets. those dead folks would give anything for just five minutes of this weather, or ten minutes of plowing the person was grumbling about. You
watch yourself about complaining, Sister. What you are supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.'”
Maya concludes, “It is said people have few teachable moments in their lives. Grandma seems to have caught me at each one I had between the ages of three and thirteen.”
When we stop seeing the bad and start focusing on the good, we are focusing on God. We are then a Way Maker, not a Wave Maker.
Always see the WAY!
The Wrecking Crew
I stood on the streets of a busy town
Watching men tear a building down
With a “heave, ho” and a loud yell
They swung a beam and an entire section fell.
I asked the foreman, “Are those men as skilled
As those you’d hire if you wanted to build?”
“No way,” he said, “no indeed!
Just common labor is all I need.
I can tear down as much in a day or two
As it would take skilled men a year to do.”
And then I thought as I went on my way,
Which of these two roles do I choose to play?
Do I walk life’s road with love and care
Striving to build. . .encourage. . .and share?
Or am I one who roams the town,
Content with merely tearing down?
Mark 9:33-37 The disciples are following Jesus on the way. They are attending their church. They are following their master. “Then they came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house He asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all, and servant of all.’ Then He took a little child and put it among them; and taking the child in His arms, He said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in My name welcomes Me, and whoever welcomes Me welcomes not Me, but the one who sent Me.'”
Can you just imagine how they sounded? “Well, I’m the greatest because Jesus likes me best.”
“Oh no,” another says, “I’m the greatest because Jesus said this to me
three weeks ago.”
Another one said, “Well, I’m the greatest because last night at dinner it
was Jesus who asked me to sit next to him.”
Jesus was saying you must love others; you must promote others. You cannot exalt yourself; you have to exalt God.
You must see the WAY for others, not just yourself. But, Never Never see the walls.
You ARE loving. This is what we serve. We serve love and becoming the way, the truth, and the life. That is what our purpose is in life.
You can become a way-maker by practicing your spiritual best, not your lower human worst
Kathy Lamancusa tells of her son Joey. “When he was born, his feet were twisted upward with the bottoms resting on his tummy. As a first time mother, she thought this looked a bit odd, but she didn’t really know what it meant. It meant that Joey had been born with club feet. The doctors assured her that with treatment he would be able to walk normally, but would never run very well. Joey spent the first three years of his life in surgery, casts, and braces. His legs were massaged; they were worked and exercised. By the time he was seven or eight years old, you would not even know he had a problem when he walked.
“If he walked great distances, like at amusement parks, or on a visit to the zoo, he complained that his legs were tired and that they hurt. They would stop walking and talk a break for a soda or an ice cream cone andtalk about what they had seen, what they had to see. She said, “We didn’t tell him why his legs hurt and why they were weak. We didn’t tell him that his was expected due to his deformity at birth. We didn’t tell him so he didn’t know.
“The children in the neighborhood ran around as most children do during play. Joey would watch them play and of course, would jump right in and run and play, too. We never told him he probably wouldn’t be able to do that, to run as well as the other children. We didn’t tell him he was different. We didn’t tell him so he didn’t know.
“In the seventh grade, he decided to go out for the cross country team. Every day, he trained with the team. He seemed to work harder and to run more than the others. Perhaps he sensed that the abilities which seemed to come naturally to so many others did not come naturally to him. We didn’t tell him that although he could run, he probably would always remain at the back of the pack. We didn’t tell him that he shouldn’t expect to make the team. The team runners are the top seven runners of the school. Although the entire team runs, it is only those seven who have the potential to score points for the school. We didn’t tell him that probably he would never make the team. And so he didn’t know.
“He continued to run four or five miles a day, every day. I’ll never forget the time when he had 103-degree fever. He couldn’t stay home because he had a cross country practice and I worried about him all day long. I expected to get a call from the school asking me to get him and take him home. No one called.
“I went to the cross country training area after school thinking that if I were there, he might decide to skip practice that evening. When I got to school, he was running alongside of a tree-lined street, all alone. I pulled up alongside of him and drove slowly to keep pace with him as he ran. I asked how he felt. “Okay,” he said. He had only two more miles to go. As the sweat rolled down his face, his eyes were glassy from his fever, yet he looked straight ahead and kept running. We never told him that he couldn’t run four miles with 103-degree fever. We never told him so he didn’t know.
“Two weeks later, the day before the second to the last race of the season, the names of the team runners were called. Joey was number six onthe list. Joey had made the team. He was in seventh grade; the other six team members were all eighth graders. We never told him that he probably shouldn’t expect to make the team. We never told him that he couldn’t do it, so he didn’t know. He just did it.”
If we always focus on the positive, we know that no matter what faces us, through the power of Christ, there is a Way.. God would say to Joey, “Yes there is a WAY;” and He says to us. “I am the Way; Follow Me.”
Let us pray.
Father, walk with us as we follow the Way. Help us stay on the path, always focused on the Way, never faltering, never retreating or surrendering. You are the Way, The Truth, and the Light. We ask You to help us keep that truth in our awareness now and always.
In Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.
God bless you