In my days working in telecom, I learned about the last mile. This was not my full-time job, so I ask my friends who understand network to forgive any misunderstanding. The idea is that it is easy to run cables through the streets and across utility poles, and blanket the city in cable. The hard part is connecting each house on each street to the main network.
What does this have to do with Christian living? In our lives, we are taught to live virtuous lives. We are taught to avoid occasions of sin. There is the part that is our efforts. We put in the main cables. We put in the work to be as good as we can be. It is not enough. The Israelites of the Old Testament are our illustration of this. They saw God’s marvelous works. They may not have been personal witnesses to the works of God, but they were believers in God’s miraculous works. Still they regularly turned their backs on God, and turned their faces to sin.
One of the main differences between the Old and the New covenants is the concept of Spirit. It is only through the Holy Spirit working within us that we can truly achieve compliance with the law (the law being love of God and neighbor). It is the Holy Spirit who takes us the last mile, and connects all of the pieces. Without connecting the pieces, the main network is useless. They are just cables in the street. They are just useless works.
True Christian living is using the Holy Spirit to effectuate our efforts. It is through this combined network that we are humbled, and learn to follow the lead of an all-knowing God. It is through this combined network that we really become Christ for others because our God has a greater presence within us. It is through this connection that we find joy in unity with our God; joy in living in a broken world, even in the worst of circumstances.
Spend some time today with the Holy Spirit. Ask him where you need his assistance to go the last mile. Ask him to help you grow in humility so that you can be more open to his guiding presence in your life. Ask him to strengthen you this day so that you can be an even greater disciple. Add this prayer to your daily routine because the process of being connected is a minute by minute disciple, and, as with all networks, once the cables are connected, trouble can still be on the lines.