The Mendozas’ trip to the lake could be compared to our journey to Heaven.
“Come on, it’s time to go!” The Mendoza family piled into their van, buckled into their seat belts, and pulled out of the driveway. Anticipation was obvious on every face as they started down the street. They were just beginning an all-day drive to the lake for a week of camping.
Mr. Mendoza had been to the gas station the day before and had the van checked, and the gas tank filled. The family was feeling great after a good night’s sleep. The few clouds they had worried about the night before had disappeared, and the morning sun was warm. Everything was starting out right.
The first few hours of driving seemed to fly by. There was excited chatter and, for a while, the whole family sang together. When their voices gave out they played the alphabet game. It didn’t seem long at all before it was time to stop at a roadside park to have lunch.
After a couple more stops, Mr. Mendoza pulled into a station for more gas and checked the GPS to see how far it was to their exit. By now they were all getting tired of traveling.
A few miles farther on, clouds began to gather and then it started to rain. The atmosphere in the car began to change too. Someone called out from the back seat, “Are we almost there?” Soon another voice asked, “Isn’t there a faster way to get to this lake?” Dad told them that this long ride was necessary in order to have a good time later.
They made one more stop to gas up, and to gulp down a dinner of burgers, cokes, and French fries. “How much farther to the lake, Dad?” the kids asked again, as they left the restaurant. Dad’s response, “Only a few more miles down the road,” was greeted with cheers. The family climbed back into the van with renewed spirits. Looking way ahead, the kids began trying to catch the first glimpse of each mileage sign, counting down the last few miles. It was getting to be fun again! Then they saw the gates of the campsite just ahead. As they drove through those gates they all shouted, “Hooray!” At last, they were there! The trip was over. Everything they had been looking forward to all day was finally before them, and the length of the trip quickly faded from their minds.
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If you have asked Jesus to come into your heart and have become a Christian, you are traveling too. You are on your way to Heaven! And once you get there you will not have just a week to enjoy yourself; you’ll be there forever!
In the first few days on the road to Heaven, you may think nothing could spoil the wonderful new feeling you have down in your heart. But remember, the devil would love to ruin your journey, and he has all kinds of tricks. He’ll try to delay or discourage you along the way, but as long as you keep your eyes on God, you will be safe.
When Jesus comes in, He gets you started. But it’s up to you to maintain enough “fuel” in your “tank” to keep you going. What is your fuel? Prayer! You need to start each day with a full tank. If you let the devil trick you into thinking you don’t have enough time to read the Bible and pray in the morning, you’ll find out that you run dry before the day is hardly started. Your travels will go even smoother if you refuel several times a day.
How do you know which way to go? Pull out your GPS, the Bible, each morning and God will show you the way to take. At times as you travel through your day, you will come up against things that you’re not sure about. The Bible will always give you direction.
You may ask, “Am I the only one on this road?” Sometimes it seems that way. When you choose to follow Jesus, you take a different road. Some of your friends will say that you are on the wrong road, but that’s just another sly trick of the devil. Your friends may think they are taking shortcuts or an easier way, but there’s only one way to Heaven. Jesus is the way. If they are on a different road, they are the ones who are lost. If you keep a steady course, they will be able to see by your life that they need the guidance you have. If you let them turn you aside, they will still be lost and you will be too!
Where can you meet others who are on the same road? In church! God’s Word teaches us that we can help each other along the way. When we go to church, we hear about other people’s experiences and learn from them. You can pick up helpful hints from someone who has gone through what you are going through now. When you share what God has done for you, someone else may be encouraged to keep traveling. You will pick up more fuel and direction from being in church, and you’ll be ready for the road again.
On your heavenly trip there will be some areas that are more exciting than others. There will also be all kinds of weather and road conditions, but every day is a good day for traveling with Jesus.