I drove past the spot where the "last spike" was driven to complete the Canadian Pacific Railway this afternoon. The scenery in Eagle Pass is amazing. It's a tight mountain valley surrounded by snow capped peaks and lush green grass in the valley. That spike represented the completion of thousands of miles of railway tracks and ties over a nation as expansive and magnificent as Canada. It was built over muskeg, the Canadian Shield, across the prairies, through forests and mountains. It goes around lakes, over rivers and through valleys. It is an amazing combination of vision, sacrifice, investment, dreams and hard work. There were many times when the project nearly came to a halt because of resistance, hardship and scandal. There were many days that lives were lost (particularly in BC) as the railway encountered some extreme geography that needed to be overcome.
As I glanced over at the site, I thought of the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 1:6 - "Being confident of this, that He who has begun a good work in you will continue it until the day of completion." You and I are on a journey. We are constantly in the process of being "made" into the people that God wants us to be. Making us is not as simple as making a cookie, because we are all unique and made with a specific purpose that absolutely sets us apart from everyone and anyone else. We were conceived in the heart and mind of God long before the foundations of the earth were laid. God dreamed dreams about us and made plans for us that He will accomplish as we allow him to "make us".
The challenge for us is really about whether or not we will "settle" for where and what we are or if we will continue to allow God to build us into what He has designed us to be. The easy thing for the builders of the CPR would have been to stop building at Calgary or Banff and "settle" for the east side of the mountains, but the dream was to connect the nation by rail from coast to coast. Building from the east to Alberta would have been an accomplishment in itself, but the vision was for the Pacific and so the building went on.
The same is true with us. It's easy to settle for where we are, what we have and what we have become, but the next step in the plan is always just around the corner. The upside is that we never arrive here, but are always able to enjoy the amazing race that God has given us to run with endurance, pleasure and purpose. He keeps working as long as we keep walking!
Keep on walking! The change of scenery is good for you!