Time to Make Tracks
The wagon tracks from a century past are still visible near Baker, Oregon where the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center and Museum is located.
These remaining tracks are a nostalgic reminder of the work and sacrifice of the men and women who settled the West, those whom we call American pioneers.
A pioneer is one who advances a cause by going ahead to remove obstacles or obstructions and prepare the way for another. It was initially used as a military term that described the job of those who marched ahead of the troops to clean away obstructions, build entrenchments, or repair roads that had been damaged.
A pioneer is not a follower, but a leader. A pioneer has to endure hardness, overcome adversity, and lay the groundwork where there is not a path. They are, in many ways, like the special forces of their vocation.
We often say of a business or ministry that is thinking outside the box and making progress, that they are “on the cutting edge.” Pioneers of yesteryear had to be on the cutting edge. They had to think of ways to forge streams, climb dangerous mountains, make shelter, provide needs and the such like with little to no resources.
The Apostle Paul was also a pioneer. With amazing innovation, he faced hardships and persecution to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the known world.
“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.” (Philippians 1:12–13, ESV)
Interestingly, the Greek word for advance in this verse, is prokope and carries the idea of a pioneer advance. Like the pioneers of the American West, Paul’s proverbial wagon tracks are still remarkably noticeable today.
And as the world is changing with the introduction of new technologies, Christians in this generation have remarkable opportunities to be on the cutting edge, to make their own deep tracks where none currently exist, tracks for future generations to follow and be inspired by.
About Scott Postma
Scott lives in North Idaho collecting more books than he'll ever read in a lifetime. He helps people cultivate their capacity to perceive and appreciate the good, the true, and the beautiful by sharing rich insights into the arts and humanities, meaningful perspective on faith and culture, and valuable tips on writing and teaching. You can subscribe to the tribe and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.