Sometimes when you enter the parking lot of a shopping center you are met with this message on a sign, “Keep Moving”. The intent is to avoid backing up the traffic onto the adjacent street.
“Keep Moving” is also a good motto for life. The Bible tells us that Christians are “sojourners and exiles” (1 Peter 2:11). Exile says we’re from somewhere else. Sojourner says we’re going somewhere else. This world is the place in the middle. Since we’re not from here and since we’re not staying here, it doesn’t make much sense to get attached to here. But it’s a challenge, isn’t it? Since we haven’t personally experienced our heavenly home our earthly sojourn is all we know firsthand. It’s easy to get either caught up in the pleasures of this life or bogged down in its sorrows. Some people gradually become “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4) by focusing on diversions that, though not wrong in themselves, become their primary pursuit rather than an occasional outlet for needed rest. They convince themselves that all the leisure they want is justified because they “deserve to be happy”. Before long the cause of Christ has been edged out of their lives because they “just don’t have time”. Others allow (and that is the right word to use) the trials of life to rob them of joy and a passion for living for God. Before long they cocoon themselves in misery, resentment and resignation to a life of pain. The martyr complex takes hold because God and/or the church did not perform as expected and desired. And many of the rest of us are caught somewhere in between these extremes. We may simply become apathetic with the hum-drum of life and just watch it pass us by as we go nowhere.
So what do we do? We take to heart the message of Scripture and the words of the song, “this world is not my home”. We enjoy the sweet things of life but at the same time realize that God has waiting for us things far sweeter. We endure the heartache and suffering knowing that it pales in comparison to “the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). We live out what, on the surface seems to be, the mundane experiences of our existence, but then we remember, we’re not just existing, we’re exiting. From the time our feet first hit the floor we’re headed out—out of the temporal, into the eternal. So we keep moving. We, like God’s people of old, “not having received the things promised, but having seen them [with the eye of faith] and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:13-16).
Someday, for each us, this world will fade from view as our eyes are closed in death. If we’ve made the journey walking in the light of God we will wake on heaven’s shore. That home of the soul is for those whose “citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:20-21). So keep moving.