Bumps, failure, and death are part of the journey

It’s Easter Sunday, April 12th, 2020. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, the president of Iceland, is addressing the nation on TV during the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic. To encourage people to continue doing the right thing he uses the Icelandic word “REDDAST.” There is a quiet confidence to the president because he knows that the people of Iceland know exactly what he is referring to. He is tapping into a stream that runs deep in the Icelandic mentality. Over the last few weeks, Iceland has shown excellent response to the pandemic and the president knows that even if there is a long road ahead, the people of Iceland will come through this. Things will work out. Or as we say in Icelandic: Þetta REDDAST.

No one sets out on a new journey to fail. People do not normally marry while secretly thinking during the sharing of vows: I hope this marriage will fail. When Lewis and Clark set out on their famous expedition of exploring the western portion of the United States, things certainly did not go as they had planned.

But they pressed on, adapted, adjusted and found ways to eventually reach their destination. Along the way they had to let go of some of their ideas about what works and doesn’t work on an expedition plus saying goodbye to many of those that started the journey with them or the possessions they had in the beginning. They set out to succeed but to be able to reach the destination they had to accept change.

One of the top reasons marriages fail is the failure to accept change or being willing to change. Marriage is both the hardest and best school one can enroll in. No one will get to know you as fully as your spouse who you live with. You may be able to keep up a façade towards others, but your spouse will eventually see all of you, the good and the bad in all its gory details.

There is a huge opportunity there that some miss out on because they can’t take the heat which may actually be a great opportunity for growth if you persist. The journey will change you and only by embracing that will you be able to carry on.

Some plans will not work out. That’s not always your fault though it may be. It can also be because the circumstances changed or that other people didn’t come through or went the other way. You still were right in planning and doing your best, it’s just that this is a chaotic world out there.

There was a time when Jesus wanted to be alone with his disciples but couldn’t (Mar 6:31) or when he wanted to gather the people of Jerusalem but they wouldn’t let him (Mat 23:37).

But that didn’t mean that God was absent from the life of Jesus or that he was a failure. In fact, through what at the outset looked like an utter failure and horrific death, was how Jesus won his greatest victory because he continued to serve the father and trust in him.

Moses, David, Peter, Paul, and John the disciple that Jesus loved all had seriously bumpy roads along the way.

Bumps, failure and death are part of the journey. Death can actually be a good thing.
When the journey demands the death of certain aspects, thought patterns or cherished pockets of our life – that is often our God-given path of sanctification.

Such death can feel like hell – but it actually is drawing hell out of our life.

Like new life can only come when the seed goes into the ground and dies, we will not see new life coming out from our life unless we allow some part of our life to die.

We are at war. Get ready for action. Show courage, stay calm and carry on.

It may get tough at times but things will work out with persistence.

Or as we say in Icelandic: Þetta REDDAST

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2 thoughts on “Bumps, failure, and death are part of the journey”

  1. Agust,
    Thanks for sharing with MI today. I have come to see that much of life is a struggle to see the truth (the consequence of the knowledge of Good and Evil). For lack of a better word I am now calling that grief. I do this because I see that we tend to approach truth through the stages of grief and may or may not do it very well depending on how healthy we are in relationship with God. Jesus came to show us the way through this grief to new life in him. BY following him to the true understanding of who God is and what he is doing as revealed in Jesus we find freedom and life. Our challenge is to trust him and follow him when everything within us says we need to do it ourselves. Your work on this is helpful and needed. Again thanks!

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