"...and the time of my Departure is at hand." II Timothy 4:6.

In this scripture, Paul is warning Timothy that he's not long for this world. He's been in many places and he's done many things. Yet, in every place he's been, and in everything he's accomplished for the Kingdom of God, none will compare to this time of departure.

The word "departure" means, a deviating from normal practice; a new  venture, course of action, etc.

If there was anything Paul didn't lack in his life here on earth it was action. Everywhere he went, if things were passive, he'd stir them up. If things were stirred up, he'd add to the pot. If ever there was a "normal" practice in a given place where he'd visit, he'd start the deviating process for them. Paul was just not afraid of man or what man could do to him.

In his early days he followed what he believed. Many times to a fault. There was no middle ground for him. It was usually to the extreme left. He took to heart what he was taught. He wouldn't take no for an answer. That is, until one day, while traveling to a city called Damascus, Paul saw the Light. He literally saw the Light. It was a light that would forever change his world. In fact it took him, through, to many different times and places of "departure" during his life.

Paul wasn't happy just living the life of the status quo. He wasn't content just getting by. He wanted to know who he was, why he was here and how he was going to accomplish his assignments.

Paul didn't just forge ahead every time he had a whim or saw something that needed to be changed. He took time, after his conversion on the road to Damascus, and learned to seek the one who was in the light. He took time to prepare himself for every assignment that was given to him from the Light. He learned that his assignments would take him back to the places of darkness and evil where he came from. He knew he was a carrier of that same light that stopped him and turned him around. He knew there was danger planted in his journey's and he needed that same light to guide him safely through all the treacherous paths.

Every time Paul set out on a journey, something new happened to him. He couldn't be content to just be normal. It wouldn't have worked for him. He was stoned for the sake of the gospel, yet, after everyone left him for dead and he came to, he'd get up and shake the dust off and continue on his journey. Anytime he was beaten severly, he'd wash the wounds and maybe bandage them a bit and continue on his journey.

Every time he came to a new place of departure, he'd already spent time with the Light who would guide him through to the next place of departure. So the journey goes. Each time something new. Each time a deviation from the normal.

Finally, he's arrived to the departure of all departures. The one he's been getting ready for in all these previous journey's. The one that will give complete understanding to what's normal. A "grand" new venture that combined with all the others gives that sense of finality to it. With all the conviction he had inside, he boldly proclaimed, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing." II Timothy 4:7-8.  

Where are you in your journey? Are you looking forward to each new and different place where God is taking you. Are you excited to think that the King of all Kings and the Lord Himself is the one that's actually guiding you on these journey's? Will you say, with Paul, that you have fought the good fight? Not just a fight, but the good fight. The one where love wins all. Will you say, with Paul, that you have finished the race. Not that you've stopped halfway but that you actually finished it. You may need to walk a bit, or maybe rest and crawl to the end, but you actually finish it. Will you take the time necessary to build up your faith each day so you can say, as Paul, that you've kept the faith?

If you're the kind of person that will take these things to heart, you just might have a new venture, that totally deviates from your norm, waiting for you. Yes, you have been preparing to make a move, not to the final place but one of those prepatory places that God is using to mature you in His image and likeness. God may be looking for you. He sees that you've got what it takes to go on. Are you ready for the next leg of your journey? If so, your time of departure may be at hand. Think about it.


In His Love

Timothy Maloney

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