“GENEVIEVE” AND THE JOURNEY OF LIFE
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29: 11)
Life, oh, life! How scary it must be for those who do not know the promises of eternal life! How scary it must be for those who believe that this life is all that there is!
But C S Lewis, in His final book of the Narnia story – “The Last Battle” reminds all of us who DO know Father God in Heaven that:
“All their life in this world and all their adventures had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
Our life here on earth is an adventure which includes good and bad, happiness and sadness, fear and peace, loneliness and companionship – it is a roller-coaster…
In the 1994 film Forrest Gump, the lead character Forrest Gump (played by Tom Hanks) said “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
This is a very short series encouraging us to look on our “journey of life” – the “big picture” and make some decisions about how we are going to live it and with whom we are going to live it…
One of the great classic British films of the 1950s was “Genevieve” (1953) starring John Gregson and Kenneth More. It tells the story of a 1904 vintage car named “Genevieve” and the rivalry of the London to Brighton vintage car rally.
However, it is also clearly a metaphor of the “journey of life”.
And like life itself, the story of “Genevieve” has a starting point – where 2 friends have lovingly restored vintage cars which they have worked on for a purpose – they lavish their love on these cars and have a dream of driving them to Brighton.
In the same way our lives have a beginning, and we are told that God knew us even when we were in the womb and that we were made wonderfully and with a purpose.
Jeremiah 1: 5 tells us: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart”
Psalm 139: 13-14 goes further: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made”
Paul in Ephesians 2: 10 proclaims that we were made with a purpose in mind: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”
And the story of “Genevieve” has a finishing line – the goal being to get to Brighton.
In the same way our lives have a finishing line as we press on towards the goal for which we are called – and our finishing line is crossing from this mortal life into the immortal life of Heaven.
Paul speaks of this in Philippians 3: 14 when he declares: “I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus”
And the story of “Genevieve” speaks of the problems and troubles that are faced on this journey – the breakdowns, the frustrations of traffic jams and slow-moving elderly female drivers(!!!) and the rivalry of others who will often stop at nothing to distract us and divert us. Yet the story is also one of companionship and fun and relaxation and just enjoying the journey.
In the same way our journey of life also has troubles and breakdowns and others who frustrate us and thwart us. And in the same way we should see our journey of life – something that we are not on alone and a journey that does offer fun and relaxation and enjoyment as well.
And the story of “Genevieve” speaks of all the preparation and work that has to be put into pressing on towards the goal – the mechanics and the effort of getting these old cars to keep going. And all the while they are travelling, people are out on the streets cheering – and jeering, marvelling – and mocking, watching – and waiting, as the cars go by.
In the same way our journey of life demands preparation and constant work – and we are reminded that in our journey of life we are never alone and we are being cheered on by all those in heaven who are wishing us success.
Paul (if it is he) speaks of this in Hebrews 12: 1-3 where our journey of life is summarised as being watched by many, demands effort and perseverance, and should always be driven by our desire to reach Glory: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart”
So…let us go forward together and discover more of this amazing “journey of life” on which we are all travelling.
If there is one thing that I want us to take away from this overview of us all being on the “journey of life” it is this: that we need NOT go through it alone.
For our Father in Heaven has promised us that:
I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1: 5-6)
And Jesus has promised us that:
I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28: 20)
And we are promised of the Holy Spirit that He:
lives with you and will be in you (John 14: 17)
And, therefore, as long as we:
“Seek His will in all you do…He will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3: 6)
We are not alone – and we have around us – both living and dead – a “cloud of witnesses” who are “rooting” for us. I have you and you have me – and together – with God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – we shall enjoy this “journey of life” together.