Opinion

Do you know where you are going?

Dale McIntire

Essentia Health, one of the hospital/clinic complexes in Duluth, stretches over several downtown blocks from First Street to Fourth Street.

Fortunately, given that we usually have business there related to my wife, who is almost always in a wheelchair these days when we anticipate long walking, the buildings are connected by a skyway. That means, when we have several appointments in several buildings over the course of the day, we can walk safely inside from one to another without having to deal with curbs, cars, and inclement weather.

Recently I was pushing Linda from the First Street Clinic building to the Third Street Duluth Clinic building via the skyway. In order to follow that route we have to take three sets of elevators, each in a different building.

We take the first set from the main floor to the third floor of the First Street building. Then, we cross the skyway to the Miller-Dwan building where we take another elevator from the lobby level to the fourth floor. Then, we take a right and head across the skyway to the third floor of the Duluth Clinic building. We pass by a set of elevators for the green parking garage, pass through one set of double doors, take an immediate left, pass through another set of automatic double doors then enter the third floor registration area where we usually take an elevator to the fifth floor.

Essentia now has volunteers stationed at each of the skyway junctions. A couple weeks ago a very nice man in a sky blue sport coat with a hospital ID card hanging from a matching blue lanyard caught my attention as I was leaving the skyway and entering the Duluth Clinic building. He looked at me, looked at Linda in the chair, and said, “Good morning! Do you know where you are going?” It was one of those moments, looking back on it, when I wish my brain worked as quickly in the moment as it does in the moment after.

“Yes. Thank you for asking,” was all I said. I wish now I had had the presence of mind to say something more like, “Yes. I do know where I am going. Do you know where you are going?”

You see, we are all going somewhere. Eternity waits for every one of us just beyond the door labeled “Death.” The Bible informs us that it is “given unto every man once to die, and after that comes judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27, ESV). Everyone faces death and everyone faces what comes after death.

Everyone is headed somewhere. The question is, “Do you know where you are going?”

Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” (John 14:6, ESV). Jesus alone leads the way to God and to eternity with God. Only through faith in Him will the judgment we face upon death be decided in our favor. If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you know where you are going. If you don’t know Christ and have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus (or even know what that means), you might want to ponder that question, “Do you know where you are going?” and find someone who can help you find the answer.

Each month a member of the Cook County Ministerium will offer Spiritual Reflections. Pastor Dale McIntire has served as pastor of the Cornerstone Community Church in Grand Marais since April of 1995.


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