Weary Warriors

Does this statue look like you? Are you a weary warrior, fighting to stay atop your equally weary mount?

This sculpture, called The End of the Trail, was created in the late 1800s and it gripped my heart the first time I saw it as a child. I was fascinated by this slumped and swaying warrior, and I wanted to know what had crushed his spirit so badly. Had he been injured in battle or was he merely bowed by exhaustion or grief? How had such a noble soul come to such a defeated, broken end?

I didn’t realize at the time that my life would often resemble that statue.

Yours probably has too.

We have all ridden toward the horizon, ready to win the day, only to come to the end of the trail, hurting, lonely, dazed, and confused, and wondering how it all went wrong.

When we come to the end of the trail and droop like this valiant warrior, there is only one lasting cure for our soul—the presence and nearness of God. Max Lucado calls that place of God’s presence “the sweetest spot in the universe.”[1]

The Gospel story is one of simultaneous expansion and narrowing. It is expanding toward the furthest reaches of the known world, but it is also honing in on individuals like a heat-seeking missile.

God wants to draw close to you. His very name, Emmanuel (God with us), says so.

That nearness—more than any other place in the universe—is where life becomes sweet and the common life is truly cured. Amid the challenges of our world and the fears of our own soul, let’s lean into that place until we sense His presence and His Spirit makes us whole.

[1] Max Lucado, The Cure for the Common Life (Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN: 2005): 70.

7 thoughts on “Weary Warriors

  1. You’re doing so well at maintaining the messages Chris and I am SO grateful. Love you more than you know dear friend.

  2. We were kind of like this when my husband Bill got his diagnosis of an aggressive melanoma behind his right ear, which was taken out and came back cancer. Could spread to brain, lungs, stomach . Thru mishaps with a MRI AND WAITING WAITING to find out, we stood fast knowing God was with us, He has it all under control! He will have surgery this Thursday at city of Hope. No it has Not spread. They will go get the margins and a plastic surgeon will be there to make it beautiful. Cheryl on the other hand will have surgery April 6 th for a cyst the size of a small orange on my ovary. I will have either a laparoscopic surgery or a hysterectomy, won’t know until I wake up. Home that day or 2 to 3 days in the hospital. I have total peace because God loves me and is right there with me holding me tight. We r both in our early 80,s. This is a storm but we will weather it.

  3. Emmanuel! Such a swarm and safe place to be. Thank you for your faithfulness to encourage us all! Praying for Cheryl and Bill listed above.
    Lifting you all up to our Lord every afternoon.
    Bridge & Don

  4. Chris, Thank you for all your encouragement in these difficult times, We know God will get us through this and we continue to trust in him, We pray for you and your family and want you to know how much we love you. I am just finishing up on a 14 day self quarantine as I was over in Portugal on the Camino walk when this all broke loose. Give Jesse and the girls a hug for us. Roy and Cindy

  5. I had a revelation recently that I shared with my wife the other day that was worthy of Captain Obvious archives. It was that, “This IS your life!” It felt like concert level decibels it was so striking. Even though this may seem basic, I realized how much my disappointments, fears and false estimations were making me weary. I’ve lived the life of not quite and almost, constantly reconfiguring and shaking the etch-a-sketch of my mind for a better version of the life I have. But “THIS IS YOUR LIFE!” has given me permission to live now with joy in the foreground of the life painting that is the moment I’m in today. Divorce, worrying if my step kids will respect me, wanting my biological son to thrive in a life where he shares two homes, finding a groove to write/research/serve in this world, regretting how I feel like kryptonite to some people; etc. has been a siphon to my life and the lives of those who love me, namely my wife. But the real mess of God with Us resonates in what it means to see the life right now in real-time as the truth and the only reality. And it is defined by so much more than the things that weary. My life is right now with my family, my vocation, my aspirations, this unfinished PhD lol and robust love that only Emmanuel can afford us. Thankful for this recalibration for real!!!

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