Years ago, I attended a tedious and boring conference which I was delighted to see come to an end. I was ready to get back home; but, as bad luck would have it, my flight was delayed for a couple of hours as we waited for violent thunderstorms to subside. The airline had loaded passengers on the plane just as the storms blew in, so we were in tight, cramped space. There wasn’t an empty seat. No air was circulating. Tensions rose. We were all trying to grin and bear it, but some of us were losing the little bit of patience we had left.
Just as we were finally cleared to leave the gate, regulations made it necessary for there to be a change in crew. We waited still longer while one set of pilots and attendants left the plane and a new set came on board. Eventually, one of the new attendants took the microphone and went—again; we’d heard it hours ago—through the standard set of instructions about seat belts, seat backs, tray tables, exits and oxygen masks. At the end, she said, “Again, ladies and gentlemen, we welcome you aboard flight. . . .” She paused; then, she put the microphone to her chest, and turned to another attendant to ask what flight we were one. The second attendant shrugged her shoulders in puzzlement. Finally, the first attendant spoke again: “You are on flight ‘I’m not sure” going to “I don’t know.’ We hope you enjoy your flight.’”
A lot of us feel that way about our lives. We’re not sure where we’re headed; we aren’t clear about the destination. Even those of us who have signed-up to journey in the company of Jesus sometimes seem uncertain about where we’re going and why.
My reading of the New Testament tells that followers of Jesus are headed into life as God means it to be. Our destination—our destiny, really—is to become our authentic selves by becoming like Jesus. We’re soaring into Christ-likeness and rising to our full potential on the wings of the Holy Spirit.
It’s a long, a lifelong, journey. From a Christian perspective, we’re "human becomings" more than we are human beings. We don’t quickly develop Jesus-ways of thinking, feeling, and living. It takes time; it’s a process. 16th century reformer Martin Luther said:
This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness; not health but healing; not being but becoming . . . We are not yet what we shall be but we are growing toward it. The process is not yet finished but it is going on. This is not the end, but it is the road.