The Joey Chronicles – Living Faith – Hebrews 4 / Escalators!
When Pastor John was growing up he had an imaginary friend named Joey.
These are growing up stories told from Joey’s point of view!
When Joey was 8 years old he flew with his Mom to San Francisco.
“Joey, don’t forget your carry-on bag. It’s behind the spare tire in the trunk.”
Joey’s Dad stood at the curb at the airport looking into Mom’s eyes and Joey just knew they were going to kiss. He looked the other way.
Joey gave Dad a hug and walked into the building with Mom. The first thing he saw scared him more than the airplane ride.
He saw a set of wide stairs with narrow stairs on either side that were moving. One was going up and one was going down.
He had heard about these things. Escalators. And he had read in Reader’s Digest about the little girl who got her foot caught in the bottom stair of the escalator and the motor kept turning and…
“Joey, don’t just stand there. We need to get to the ticket counter right away. Here, take my hand.”
Mom started to get on the escalator and saw that Joey wasn’t following.
“That’s OK Mom, I’ll use these stairs in the middle.”
With a frown Joey’s Mom let the escalator carry her upward. “Hurry up Joey!” she said halfway to the top.
Joey grabbed his suitcase and carry-on bag and climbed. And climbed. His back hurt by the time he got to the top. Mom was waiting at the next escalator that went even higher towards the airline ticket windows.
Joey took the stairs again. He could do it on his own. He didn’t need any help.
The trip to San Francisco was amazing. He spent time with his Aunt and visited cool arcades with magical toys and games in windows that shone brightly in the thick fog that blanketed the city.
And everywhere they went there were more stairs. And more escalators. Joey had never seen that many stairs and Mom almost lost her temper waiting for him over and over as he studiously avoided the escalators.
When they arrived back in Portland after five wonderful days Mom stopped after they got off the plane. She bent down and looked Joey in the eyes.
“Joey, we need to go back down the stairs and I want you to ride down the escalator with me. Just once. You have been working so hard climbing stairs the last five days and you need to trust me when I say the escalator won’t hurt you.”
“We are not going home until you try the escalator at least once.”
Joey frowned as he crossed the lobby and approached the first escalator. He grabbed Mom’s hand and lifted his foot VERY HIGH over that first crack in the stair that was moving downward. He dug his cheek into Mom’s warm coat and…
…didn’t really do anything.
The escalator was doing all the work.
When they came to the second escalator Joey lifted his foot NOT QUITE SO HIGH and looked around as they headed downward. He started to relax and let go of Mom’s coat.
When they reached the bottom he almost wanted to do it again, but thought better of it. He felt ashamed that he had worked so hard to climb up and down when he could have enjoyed himself more.
In the book of Hebrews God tells us to believe in Jesus, obey Jesus – and then rest. And when we rest we let Jesus, the living Word, do the work – because someone or something is always working as we go up and down the escalator in our lives.
Hebrews 4:11-12 says “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
So believe in Jesus. Obey Jesus. And let Jesus do the work by reading and following the living Word.
If you don’t follow the living Word you’ll just keep climbing those stairs over and over again until your back hurts and you want to quit.
Joey never took the stairs again when he could choose the escalator. He even tried going up the down escalator but that didn’t turn out too well.
And he continued to lift his foot HIGH ENOUGH so that he didn’t get caught in that first moving step.