Back or forward?

"Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one." Hebrews 11.16

Watching last night's 'Blood of the Clans' I was struck again how wild and lively the highlands once were. But would I put the clock back? That's like asking if I would like to be young again. Of course - except for one thing...

What I perceive ahead of me is better. Eternal life: where one is neither young nor old but perfect, the way God intended; where there is no more crying or sickness or pain, but life in all its richness; where God's goodness and glory are no longer veiled but so bright that no other light-source is necessary.

So, no thanks. Let's press forward, not backwards. But we'll need each other and we'll need the help and grace of God. Because, as Christian discovers in 'Pilgrim's Progress', the path to glory is full of challenges and pitfalls. He comes to depend on the sage advice and vital equipment that he receives along the way.

Now 'Pilgrim's Progress' is an allegory. That is to say it is a fictional story told in such a way as to help us towards a better understanding of real life. But the quotation above, from the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament, refers to real people who had actually marked out the footsteps in which John Bunyan's eponymous hero treads. It comes in the middle of the most extraordinary and encouraging chapter in the Bible. And, if you are struggling today, it will lift your spirit and refresh your soul. It might even put the spring back in your step...

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