John Hopper, a member of the CIC Panel of Consultants, ministers to Royal Mail staff in Edinburgh in his role as a Missionary with the Edinburgh City Mission. He writes:
As I continue to visit Royal Mail Delivery Offices throughout Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders, many are in the midst of, are about to start or have just finished implementing revisions to the Posties’ walks (delivery route). These revisions are a continuous assessment of the most efficient and cost effective way to achieve the prime objective; the delivery of mail to the customer destination. In some Delivery Offices, the revisions are minimal but in others, big changes can be the end result. New housing schemes or Industrial Estate/commercial office developments can have a dramatic effect on what was an otherwise “settled” walk or van delivery route, especially when coupled with an alteration in the time assessed to complete it. Personal health and fitness levels can have a further huge impact on the ability to achieve the expected outcome.
The same can be said about our personal, daily walk with the Lord; has it just become a matter of ritual or routine? Has our walk stopped being one of anticipation, excitement and a challenge? Do we ever stop to wonder if we are still on the right route or have we become lost in a myriad of new developments in our lives that have shifted the vision away from Jesus? Are we spiritually fit enough to stay the journey to the Heavenly city?
In Mark 10:32 we see Jesus on the road to Jerusalem, a route well defined by centuries of those who have walked this way before. Jesus is out in front whilst the disciples follow astonished, afraid (NIV) at what he has to tell them of what lies ahead at the final destination. In the midst of all of this, two disciples want a bigger role in the outcome, much to the consternation of their colleagues. “Are you really up to the job?” He asks. (v38) “We are” (v39) they reply but their request is denied as Jesus does not have the authority to grant it. However, He assures them that they will follow Him on the new route He is about to lay out before them.
Likewise, I encourage those I meet on my daily rounds to re-assess where they are heading, the personal cost involved and the changes needed to embark on an altered or new route to the final destination. Change is never easy, often very unsettling but has the potential to be very exciting and life changing; but more importantly, life saving.