“Life’s a journey, not a destination,” Steven Tyler sang in the rock band Aerosmith’s 1993 song, “Amazing.”
Amazing doesn’t quite describe the quirky fact that the very same phrase Aerosmith used in 1993 was used in 1920 by Methodist pastor and theologian Lynn H. Hough in a Sunday school lesson outline on the New Testament letter of 1 Peter: “life is a journey and not a destination.” However, we may want to hear the rest of the quote to make sense of it:
Life is a journey and not a destination; that the heart must be set upon those matters of character which are eternal and not upon those matters of sensation which pass away.
I think Steven Tyler would have been as shocked as Lynn Hough that their view of life was shared in this instance.
Yet, both of them echo a reality woven throughout the Scripture about our lives as human beings: we are on a journey through our days. Ideally, that journey is with God, but regardless of whether we believe in God or not, “journey” is the way we experience life.
One of the places where this comes clear in Scripture is in a little section of the Old Testament Book of Psalms known as the Psalms of Ascent.
The Psalms of Ascent consist of 15 psalms, from 120 through 134. While there are different ideas about what the “ascent” referenced in this group is all about, the most likely possibility is that these psalms were sung and prayed by pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. They were traveling to the temple in celebration of the three main festivals of the Hebrew people: Passover, Pentecost, and Booths (Exodus 23:14-17). No matter where they were, they would ascend toward Jerusalem because it was on the heights, ...
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