Earlier last month I turned 51. Most of the major transitional boundaries of my own life occur the first year of a new decade and this year seems to be as much. As I am reflecting on my own life and the journeys it has taken I felt that a lesson learned from the man who tried to declare that God is dead was in order. The following is from the last chapter of my book Journeys to Significance which came out last Spring.
Eugene Peterson who gave us TheMessage, has a book curiously named after a quote by the famous atheist, Friedrich Nietzsche, who declared that God is dead. The name of the book is A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. The quote, from Neitzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil says this:
“The essential thing ‘in heaven and earth’ is…that there should be a long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.”“I have fought the good fight,” Paul says, “I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). As I serve the Lord I am finding that there are fewer people than you would imagine who are able to say at the end of their life words like this. As I mentioned at the start of my book Journeys to Significance, “the only applause that really counts is at the finish line.”
My hope, prayer and passion is to remain faithfully obedient in the same direction and to finish well or die trying.