Lewis and Clark set out across the United States traveling the Missouri River looking for the Pacific Ocean. They were both adventurers who were experts in river transportation. They trained and were sent for their expertise and challenged by President Thomas Jefferson to find a trade route that would secure the success of the new country. They struggled and worked their way up the Missouri River, looking for its source. After sickness, long treks around waterfalls, fatigue, and even death of party members, they accomplished their mission and found the source of the Missouri River, but there was one big problem. The source of the Missouri River was not the Pacific Ocean, but a spring in Montana, and what they saw before them was not a trade route but the Rocky Mountains - mountains bigger and more treacherous than any they had ever faced. Lewis and Clark were river men, not mountaineers. This is not what they were trained for and not what everyone told them was going to happen. They had moved into uncharted territory. After some deliberation they decided to ditch the canoes that had got them to this point and to travel on into the unknown.
This is often what being a Christian looks like. We are told what life will look like when we follow Christ. We are told that when we become a Christian we will be filled with joy, love, and grace, all of which is true but it is far from the whole story. The whole story involved choosing Christ even if it means moving away from your family. It means struggling through doubts when everything in the world is going wrong. It means dying to self and living in Christ. These things are not what we are trained to do when we sign up for this whole Christian thing. This is uncharted territory we are moving into and we are going to need to leave behind the canoes that the world told us to use and travel on with the promise that God will provide what we need. We are adventurers in Christ, moving into the unknown in our lives, knowing that our own skills cannot get us through what is ahead, but knowing that in Christ we will see this adventure to the end.
Lewis and Clark did eventually find what they were looking for 1 year, 6 months, and 1 week after their departure. In May of 1804 they arrived at the Pacific Ocean. Wherever you are in this journey, know that you are not alone as you face the unknown. So many others have walked this same path you find yourself lost on and can help you navigate through this seemingly unconquerable mountain and get to the destination that you seek. Lean on those around you to help you through this journey so that you may one day hear “well done my good and faithful servant.”