Addendum to pilgrims:
I listened to a sermon about Bunyan later today. Bunyan said the following in a book called “the greatness of the soul” in reference to the need for endurance in following CHRIST.
Following of me [Christ] is not like following of some other masters. The wind sits always on my face and the foaming rage of the sea of this world, and the proud and lofty waves thereof do continually beat upon the sides of the bark or ship that myself, my cause, and my followers are in; he therefore that will not run hazards, and that is afraid to venture a drowning, let him not set foot into this vessel.
If you are doing this Christian thing because it seemed like a “good, nice, clean, American, healthy” way to live in this life, you might want to read the gospels. You do not follow Christ for the rewards in this life. There are rewards, but they are not worth the cost if there is nothing beyond this life (I Cor. 15:19). Paul and Bunyan seemed to think that the Christian life was so costly that the only reason to live in such a way was the hope of the eternal reward of Christ.
It seems Jesus lived this way too, you know with the cross and all.
And isn’t it a cross we are called to bear?
Discipleship costs a lot in this world.
Worldliness costs a lot in the next.
Which one are you living for?
Bunyan lost his wife, leaving him with four children, one of them blind. He remarried only to be thrown in prison one year later. He spent 12 years in prison for preaching the gospel. It was here that he wrote the jewel “the pilgrim’s progress”. The glory came after the suffering. The suffering is what birthed the glory. He was a pilgrim living for another world.