I have often thought how nice it would be to live close to the church building where we worship the Lord in company with others. Many of you have known only that for most of your lives. Not me! Distance has been the “name of the game” with me and my family ever since I have been in this world. Growing up in Dallas, the church where my family attended was across town from our home. No expressways existed in those days; so getting to the building was always an effort – especially when driving through town traffic. I married someone who had a similar experience to mine. While growing up, Janet’s father preached at a church in another town 20 miles away. Later, after we married, I preached for five years at a church in Denton, Texas, 50 miles from our home in Bedford. After that, I preached for 25 years at a church in South Dallas – again about 35 miles from our home. When we moved to the farm, things were no different. We already had become very involved with a church in Mesquite, Texas, and it is 30 miles away from our farm in Poetry. So, all we have ever known is to travel an hour or better to get to the church building. Many a time we would sing that phrase from the popular musical, My Fair Lady, “….so get me to the church on time!” then hum a few bars of Willie Nelson’s On the Road Again.

Through the years, and even now as we drive back and forth to the church building from the farm, I have a lot of time to think, pray, talk, listen, etc. This travel time gives me opportunities to reflect upon a number of things, some of which I will share with you in this lesson from the farm. First, I am grateful for God’s hand of protection upon our travel time and upon the performance of our vehicles through these many years. He has kept me and my family safe when we travel upon some very unsafe roads. I know that I am not exempt from a serious automobile accident along the road; however, in the thousands of trips I have made to our church building over the years, not once have we had any significant difficulty along the way. (PTL) Many times during my travel time I have thought of that verse in Psalms which says, “He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psa. 91:9-12). I encourage you to read this passage in its entirety. God has been very faithful to us as we committed ourselves to Him upon the highways, and I thank Him for His hand of protection. There are so many things such as this that we take for granted; but they are all blessings from the Lord. Jesus reminded us to consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air. If God cares for these, He will provide and care for us as well, for we are infinitely of more value to Him than they are (Matt. 6:25-34).

Another thought while traveling to the church building is that I know the Lord is with me as I drive. I am not going to the church building to meet Him there; He is with me always for His Spirit dwells within me (1 Cor 3:16; 6:19). I can pray and converse with Him as I drive, and I can praise Him as I sing along with Christian music from the radio or CD’s. Sadly, many think God dwells inside the church building, and we simply meet Him there on Sunday, and then leave Him there when we walk out the door. Nothing could be further from the truth! The building only provides a place for believers to collectively meet to pray, praise, sing, teach, learn, etc., and then depart, taking Him with them, to minister in His name throughout the next week. I am thankful that I can drive to a place where believers meet, and do my part on a regular basis in the participation of these activities. It gives me spiritual encouragement and strength. Also, I am thankful for the privilege that He has given me to drive to various church buildings through the years to be of encouragement to others in the faith. Though the distances have been long, I am grateful for the opportunities God has given me to know Him better along the road.

Many will remember the days of the TV series, Star Trek, and then its many sequels. The starship Enterprise was the signature space ship in the Starfleet system, and it had a prominent room called the Transporter Room. It was there that the crew of the Enterprise could be instantaneously transported to anyplace in that sector of the universe. They would de-materialize in that room, and then molecularly reappear anywhere else their coordinates placed them. Thus, the phrase took hold of the “trekie” viewing nation as Captain James Kirk said, “Beam me up, Scotty.”

From that fictitious TV setting, I wish to make an analogy. One day my travel time will become time travel. One day Christians, to coin a phrase, are going to get “beamed up.” One day Jesus will come back and call His own to be with Him forever. That is the single most important event for which the entire believing Christian world awaits – the soon return of Jesus, “the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”(Titus 2:11). One of the things that will happen at this great event for God’s people is a moment of time travel. Not only will we be “caught up with other believers in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air”(1 Thess. 4:17), we will do it in a moment of time: “we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor. 15:51). That’s going to be the greatest time travel ever! No wonder the Apostle Paul called it a “mystery.” Today, when a believer dies, he/she is immediately ushered into the presence of the Lord. The Bible says that to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). I consider that as express time travel as well! These are promises only for the child of God. Do you belong to Him? You don’t want to miss out on God’s time travel.

Before He left, Jesus told his disciples that He was going away to prepare a place for them. He said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions, or rooms” (Jn 14:2). In the book of Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, John gives a description of the place the Lord has prepared for eternity. While some may have difficulty in mentally picturing the description of the Holy City, it is obvious that it is the final dwelling place for the children of God. “The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city and his servants will serve him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads”(Rev. 22:3-4). What a glorious eternity awaits us! One day as I was driving to the church building, I was thinking how nice it would be to live closer. Then I remembered that one day I’ll have a “room” in the New Jerusalem, the Holy City of God. I’m wondering how close it will be to the throne of God and the Lamb. Sure hope it’s close, but then it really won’t matter because time travel won’t matter either. Time will be no more (Rev. 21:4)

“I’ve got a mansion, just over the hilltop, in that bright land where we’ll never grow old; And some day yonder we will never more wander; but walk the streets that are purest gold.”