I used to think of coming unto Christ as a one time thing. I used to wonder if I was yet fully converted to Christ, or if I was just going through the motions. But the more I explored my own efforts to come to know the Savior, and the more I read the scriptures, the more I came to see that conversion is as less of a destination, and more of a journey. And there are so many levels to the journey. At least it’s been that way for me.
My journey began when I was a child. I knew I was starting to make effort to come to Christ when I was baptized. I think that was about the time I really started thinking seriously about spiritual things. I had a short attention span, but I wanted to do what was right. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy journey, and I knew that I didn’t know how to get where I was going, but I started.
Since then, my journey has continued uninterrupted. I have climbed steep hills, fallen and recovered from my injuries, learned the terrain, mastered the terrain (until it changed into new, unfamiliar terrain), and constantly sought the direction of my personal guide.
The scriptures and the words of the living prophets are more than just a map on my journey. They’re a survival handbook, a first aid manual, an atlas, a motivational allegory, a field guide to all the plants, animals, weather patterns, and elements I may encounter, and best of all, they contain thousands of messages from my guide.
I can’t say the journey has always been easy, but it’s been an incredible adventure so far, with plenty of fascinating discoveries, breathtaking landscapes, incredible sunsets, starry nights, and hope-filled mornings to keep me going.
But the journey really took on the most meaning when I realized that Christ wasn’t the destination at the end of my journey. I traveled a long time before discovering that He wasn’t at some distant end, but rather with me on the journey.
Sometimes He’s a few steps behind, or just out of sight, trusting me to do the navigating. Other times He’s blazing the trail before me, with me as close as possible behind, but more often than not, He’s beside me, encouraging me, teaching me. I get injured so easily, frustrated so often, and tired so quickly. But rather than patting me on the back sympathetically and telling me it’s okay that I’m so weak, He helps me stand, and then walks on, saying, “Let’s keep going.” And He never lets up, which is hard, but good, because if it had just been me, I’d have given up long ago.
And I’m still learning. Every time I understand one thing better, I learn how little I know about another. Sometimes He teaches me directly, other times He points me to the scriptures and prophets, and often He lets me learn things on my own. He’s made this journey infinite times over. He knows what I’m capable of, and He’s leading me there.
For me, it’s no longer about coming to Him, but rather about following Him, trusting Him, and never leaving Him.
And I never will leave Him.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Chas Hathaway is the author of the books Scripture Study Made Awesome, Marriage is Ordained of God, but WHO Came Up with Dating? and Giraffe Tracks. Learn more at chashathaway.com. Please participate in the conversation by adding comments and sharing with friends on the web!
Gospel Living Made Awesome is not an official work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If Chas says something stupid, it's his own fault.