"There we found brothers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome." — Acts 28:14, ESV
And so we came to Rome. Six words that really mean nothing to anyone. This is a part in the story that gives us some information but doesn't seem all that life-changing. They made it to Rome. So what? Of course this is where Paul was going but it is not something that stands out as a huge life-lesson. UNTIL, Jesus takes it and opens it up again.
Paul made it to Rome. Why is this so important? Because the journey to get there was quite overwhelming and troublesome. There were assassination plans against Paul. He stood before political and religious leaders, declaring his innocence in the midst of proclaiming Jesus. He experienced being shipwrecked. He was bit by a snake and experienced nothing from it. He healed people on Malta, the people who showed him great kindness when he and the others landed there from their ordeal at sea. They even deified Paul because of his bout with the serpent.
And so we came to Rome. They made it. They finally made it. I've been on long plane rides, but I have never experienced that type of travel itinerary. However, we all will experience our own travels to Rome. You see, we are all on a journey with Jesus. He has called us to a destination, but has included the journey as part of the experience of walking with him. He has not told us to ignore our surroundings as we move closer and closer to our final destination (wherever, whenever, and whatever that is). Rather, he has included the journey in the calling that he has given to each one of us individually. But he also, while calling us individually, brought us together to walk this journey with him. And while I cannot tell you what will happen on the path that he has assigned to you or to me, I can promise you that you we will arrive in Rome one day.
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." — Philippians 1:6, ESV
This is the verse that I believe the Holy Spirit brought to my mind while writing this. My final destination will be a reality some day. I will make it, but only because of Jesus with me on the journey. You, too, will make it. Walk humbly with the One who knows the way. Chat with him as you go. Mimic him. Do as he does. Laugh. Cry. Vent. Share. Enjoy. Play. Pray. Enjoy the journey. And when things get tough, continue doing the same. Live life with the One who gave it to you. And at the end you will say, "What a ride."