I Walk The Line

Johnny Cash, the author of the famous song, “I Walk the Line,” faced many personal struggles before and after he gave his heart and life to Christ. Someone once said that Johnny’s spiritual journey could be summed up in a line from the chorus, “Because you're mine, I walk the line.” 

I am sure Johnny was like most of us. We wish there were things in our past that we could undo or even erase. I remember an old Bob Hope movie in which he was given three wishes. I was just a little kid, but I remember thinking that my third wish would be for three more wishes. What would your three wishes be? Take a moment to imagine.

I would want to erase some unpleasant and downright painful seasons of my life, but would I also be erasing God’s pruning that ultimately produced spiritual growth and strength I would not have otherwise known? Was what I gained worth the pain? That is a difficult question for most of us to answer, especially if we are in the midst of the pruning. Walking the line is a walk a faith all the way to the end, even when the line takes us over some very difficult terrain. 

God is not going to give us three wishes. He is neither a genie in a bottle nor a rabbit’s foot. What happens to us in life falls between two extremes, those things over which we caused and those things over which we had no control. 

So how do we navigate? A word picture may help. We are walking on life’s balance beam. If we are not careful we will fall off the left side and dwell in the land of the past with no future hope. If we fall off the right side, we will dwell in the land of the future with no thought of the past. Life is understood through the lenses of the past, but life must be lived in the present. The future is as close as the next step we take.

We live in a difficult world filled with pain and sorrow. Genies are fun to consider, but a life of faith and peace is lived by walking the line, the line from the cross to eternity, being mindful of what was and hopeful for what is to come.

Stan Means
Elder Source Senior Ministries
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