The Way of Life
It was whilst visiting a friend in Northumberland that I came across the above guide. It is one of a number of ‘Northern Saints Trails’, this one centred around Durham Cathedral. It states, ‘The Way of Life commences in the most rejuvenated manner possible at one of Durham’s loveliest villages, the spa village of Gainsford: a vital early Christian settlement raised around St. Mary’s Church and Well’.
Whilst I am sure that following this trail may have much to offer in terms of physical exercise, and historical interest, I am not sure it warrants such a grand title in spiritual terms. The pilgrimage may be a significant event for many, whether they be Anglicans, Catholics or Muslims, but the Bible does not speak of a place or a pathway but a person who described Himself as, ‘the way, the truth, and the life’.[i] That person is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In Bible terms, the journey to faith starts with a realization that I am a sinner – I have broken God’s laws; I have lived as I please; I have failed to give time or thought to God or His Son, Jesus Christ. Our reaction to that realization should be one of horror and of fear. Sin has consequences. I cannot carry on as I am: ‘the wages of sin is death’.[ii] The next step is confession – come to God and tell Him what I am. The Bible tells us of a man who simply said, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner’.[iii]
If we tell God what we are by nature and practice, it must be because we want to turn from the way of sin to the way of life. We have realized what we are, and we come to Jesus Christ to trust Him as our Saviour and Lord. He is the one who offered a perfect sacrifice for sin at Calvary’s cross and only He can forgive us and cleanse us from the stain of sin.
The way of life does not depend upon my ability to walk one, or ten, or a hundred miles. It does not depend upon a visit to a particular place. It does not depend upon me at all. If it did, I would be lost forever. Salvation is found in trusting Jesus Christ and committing my life to Him. Will you?