Leonhard Seppala’s lead dog, Togo.
In 1925 a life or death mission was undertaken by twenty mushers and more than 100 sled dogs. This mission would not have succeeded if the dogs pulling the sleds carrying diphtheria antitoxin serum, refused to listen to their musher’s voice saying, This is the way.
The diphtheria epidemic threatened Nome, Alaska. Nome’s supply of antitoxin expired, and the town’s doctor refused to use it. The nearest antitoxin was in Anchorage. Nearly one thousand miles away. The only way to get the antitoxin to Nome was by sled dog. After receiving the serum by plane in Nanana, the mushers with their sled dogs relayed the 20-pound cylinder of serum to Nome. 674 miles and five and a half days later the serum arrived safely in Nome.
Followers of Christ are tasked with a life-saving mission to take an antitoxin serum–God’s truth and love–to a sick and dying world. For our mission to succeed, we need to listen to God’s voice. He is the one who directs our path in the way we should go.
Our mission to carry the Good News of salvation through Christ Jesus is a coordinated mission. It takes each and every one of us working together.
The way is treacherous filled with adverse conditions and winding trails. At times we may face extreme white-out conditions. The only way to know the direction we should travel is by listening to the voice behind us saying, This is the way. Walk in it.
We may feel like giving up. Like our strength is gone. But we aren’t alone. Others in the race run beside us, helping us carry the serum.
When trail markers become hidden in the storm causing us to take a wrong turn, the voice behind says, This is the way. Walk in it. At the sound of his voice we make a correction, and get back on the correct trail.
During those times when the trail is too difficult to forge on our own, our Leader walks in front of us, guiding us, whispering to us, This is the way. Walk in it.
Taking the familiar trail may seem more logical than the one the voice behind us calls us to take. That’s when we have a choice. Believe God knows more than we do, or not. Listen to his voice and follow, or not.
One way to hear God’s voice is to spend time listening for it through meditating on his word. We need to become so familiar with our Master’s voice, if another voice tries to direct us, we recognize it as a fraud and shut our ears to it.
God’s voice stills, reassures, leads, enlightens, forgives, calms, encourages, and comforts. The enemy’s voice rushes, frightens, pushes, confuses, condemns, stresses, discourages, and worries.
As was true in 1925, our life-saving mission today is of the utmost importance. The trail and weather conditions are extreme. The dedication to save lives is sacrificial. The end result is more than worth it.
This is the way. Walk in it.
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Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)
I wish you well.
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