Going the Distance

It’s summer now and I as I was walking on a trail by my home, I was thinking of the apostles and the disciples who walked the Roman roads to spread the Kingdom of God. Now the trail that I was on, was a former railroad that has been paved over with nice, smooth asphalt. The Roman roads, however were engineered with stones. While they may have tried to make them as flat as possible, I’m sure all the people, carts and animals that used those roads made for less than a flat walking surface.

It’s over 1,000 miles from Jerusalem, Israel to Rome, Italy. That’s a lot of miles! Now some of the journey could have been by sea as well. We know that Peter and Paul were both martyred in Rome, so they made that journey. Peter also did a lot of traveling with Jesus, from the Sea of Galilee to Jerusalem and around the surrounding countryside. Their journey of faith was both a spiritual and a literal journey. They went to places where they did not know people and tried to share the Word of God with them. In some places they were welcomed and received well, other places they may have been harassed or even threatened with death. Yet they still kept going.

Countryside in Israel

Countryside in Israel

I made the mistake of using my hiking sandals for my first walk of the season on the trail. As my feet started complaining about the walking, I wondered about the apostles and disciples. How many pair of sandals did they go through? Or did they even wear any type of footwear at all  when walking? While I’m proud of the two and a half mile walk that I made, at least I was able to come home and rest. For them, reaching the destination was just the beginning. The real effort was teaching about Jesus.

So the next time you’re out walking/hiking/biking in the wonderful summer weather, remember those first Christians and say a prayer of thanksgiving for all the miles they logged. Then ask yourself, how far would I travel for Jesus?

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