The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Do you know who said this? 

“If I ever go looking for my heart's desire, I won’t look further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, then I never really lost it to begin with.” 

I’ll give you a hint; it’s not Morgan Freeman or Abe Lincoln. 

Give up? Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Pretty sure she was ahead of her time.

Here we have Dorothy who just wants to go home. She runs away because she is afraid, but when she realizes how much she misses her family back home, her only desire is to get back to where she is loved (clearly, she never lived through COVID pandemic).

Now we have a whole world of people who are feeling discontent and just want to get away from home! Oh the irony! 

Today, I chose to sit out in the sun while I read Jesus’ words in John 14.  It’s nice and we are still allowed outside. 

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If it were not so, would I have told you I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come get you so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.

“No we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said, “we have no idea where you are going so how can we know the way?”

Then Jesus told him,

I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you have known me, you will know who my father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!

As I processed this particular I AM statement, the Wizard of Oz came up again.  

Dorothy’s path to get home is marked quite clearly with bricks. She is even told point blank what to do: “Follow the yellow brick road!” (Did you hear it in a funny little munchkin voice? Me too). 

I confess that I loose sight of what's important on a pretty regular basis. I forget that I have some really incredible things right in front of me and go off in search of more. More affirmation, more attention, more control. The only thing I really need is the One who made me.

Jesus says, “I am the way.” He is our yellow brick road, if you will. When you walk with him, you  begin to learn the Truth. Bit by bit, brick by brick. You may get sidetracked, poisoned by poppies, or various other setbacks, but his path remains in tack to lead you safely home.

Oh, and he will often give you a few amazing, albeit odd, friends along the way. Even if you never leave the yard.
  1. Carjack your thoughts. Or take every thought captive ;) Find something to do that helps get you back on the mental yellow brick road when you begin to spin. A friend of mine recommended the serenity prayer. I also like to use memorized verses like Philippians 4:5-6.
  2. Practice Lectio. I love doing this. It's a way of letting scripture transform your thinking. I did this very thing with John 14 all week. If you have never heard of Lectio Divinia, here are two book resources that can help guide your practice: Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton or The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith
  1. Go to your backyard. Or outside on your deck and make a mental list of all the things you have. Remind yourself that while there may be a lot outside your boundary line to see, sometimes we miss what is right in front of us.


JL McCarthy

April 7, 2020