Thursday, April 4, 2019 -
Last night I finished reading John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. I’d read it before, as a young lad, but didn’t remember much about it other than it was very memorable and the journey of Christian seemed to enthrall me. I’d wanted to read it again ever since someone gave Kathie and me a special collector’s edition.
When I came to prison, it was one of the first books I told my family I’d wanted to read, so my son Josiah sent me a new edition with Scriptures actually imbedded into the text of the book. It also had new meaning to me since I knew John Bunyan had also been imprisoned for his faith.
The story of Christian’s journey, which is written entirely in an allegorical form, is loaded with theological and Biblical truths. And it clearly demonstrates that how we lead our lives can have a profound impact on others, and how they live their own lives. Decisions we make may not only impact our own eternity, but the lives around us.
When Christian and his friend and fellow pilgrim Faithful were forced to pass through the town of Vanity, they were confronted with many temptations to fall into sin and to deny Christ. But they stood their ground and ended up in prison and were put on trial - - a sham of a trial in which Faithful was condemned to die over totally false charges. Christian was prepared to die as well, but was miraculously delivered. Yet because of their bold stand for the truth, their attitude and demeanor in the face of such adversity resulted in many taking admirable notice.
But years later, when Christian’s wife and children passed through Vanity, they ended up remaining there for some time, because through the testimony of Christian and Faithful, the town had changed significantly with many now following the King.
Many other trials which Christian encountered made a mark on the lives of his wife and children as well as other, which persuaded them as well, to take up their cross and follow Christ.
I am certain that John Bunyan, hundreds of years ago when choosing prison rather than denouncing his beliefs, had no idea that 340 years later his life and writings would still be impacting people to live their lives in such a way that when they cross that river of death, they will be met with the words, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.”