A milestone is a stone post at the side of the road to mark distances.
The word could also apply to a significant event in life.
This spring, graduates have achieved a milestone in their education.
Whether finishing high school or college studies, they have accomplished a milestone worthy of congratulations and celebration.
Weddings, many in the spring, are a milestone as well. Family and friends gather to join in the festivities. The happy man and woman stand before the minister and repeat the words that express their vows of commitment and love for a lifetime. Everyone hopes this milestone will not become the proverbial millstone either of them feel hanging from their neck. Instead, we hope they will mark each anniversary of this event with joy and happiness. Each annual remembrance will become a milestone in itself. Jerry Lewis said the best wedding gift he received was a movie of the ceremony. When things weren’t going well, he could play the movie in reverse and walk out a free man. Perhaps a good way to relieve tension, but not something to make reality.
There are spiritual milestones to mark events and progress. Samuel led the nation of Israel against an enemy that threatened them. He offered sacrifices and prayer before the Lord. The Bible said that “the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day” against their enemies for a great victory. Samuel then set up a stone named Ebenezer. This was a milestone that meant, “Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.” We have milestones in our walk with God as well. God has helped us to this point, and will continue to help.
The disciples handled the loaves and fish that fed the five thousand. The food multiplied in their hands as they distributed to the multitude. They went away on a boat while Jesus went to pray. A contrary wind kept them from their destination. Jesus came to them, walking on the water.
“Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid,” he said. He got aboard the boat with the disciples and the wind ceased, causing them to be amazed “beyond measure, and wondered.” What a series of milestones for them to experience! Mark offered this comment about the situation, “For they considered not the miracle of the loaves.” What should have inspired faith was forgotten. We need to “transfer the truth” about Jesus and his power to our own lives. He has and will continue to establish milestones of faith for us as we follow him. Sometimes they come in rapid succession, such as commanded in Acts 2:38. Other times they are few and far between, requiring faith to hold on.
No matter, just keep going, marking the milestones.
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling United Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road at Entrada. Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10:00 a.m. and worship at 11:00 a.m. Thursday Bible study and children’s church are at 7:00 p.m.