Lenten Global Positioning
Monday, March 20
Dr. Randy Jackson, Assistant Pastor, Congregational Care, Roswell Presbyterian Church
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. - Proverbs 3:5-6 (NRSV)
If there's anything I've learned from my few months serving you as one of RPC's Assistant Pastors for Congregational Care, and getting to visit so many of you in your homes, and as you find yourself in hospitals or rehab facilities, it's that, especially in the Atlanta area, there are really no "straight paths" as the writer of Proverbs suggests. In fact, I'm sure many of you, like I, rely to a great degree on that marvel of modern technology, the GPS Navigation system in our cars, to help us get from one place to another.
The one in my car I named Grace after my late mother who had a way of "giving me directions" on my driving when she rode with me, and who I miss terribly. I named it for her because the kind female voice is not only very patient and kind in the always chaotic Atlanta traffic, but it helps me find my way around this confusing maze of ever-name-changing streets and almost inevitably allows me to arrive at my intended destination.
Grace is really a marvel of technology.
I simply push a button on my steering wheel. The voice politely answers. I tell her the address of the place I wish to go. And within seconds she begins to give me turn after turn, direction after direction, distance after distance - and if I follow carefully, without error or deviation, I will arrive at my intended location. The truth is, if I trust Grace, she will not let me down!
And this Grace GPS system in some ways reminds me that as believers, the season of Lent is a journey of faith. An hour by hour, day by day, minute by minute, journey of our heart and mind that leads us to the call of faith - the cross - the resurrection - the promise and assurance that our sins are forgiven and forgotten and we are free to live redeemed lives. It can be, if we're open to it, a time for us to not so much give up something, or take on something, or for fasting, or weeping, or mourning (although those can each be helpful and meaningful in our journey), but a time for refocusing on following the directions, for carefully, prayerfully, listening to the plans laid out by the trusting voice we're hearing and by rededicating ourselves to working our way along God's "paths of righteousness and forgiveness".
Maybe Lent can be for us a season of renewed Global Positioning!
Leading and guiding God, remind us again during the season of Lent that despite our desire to be in control, to plan our own way and control our own destiny, that you are present to guide us on our journey, to redirect us over and over when we venture off course, and to turn us and refocus us toward your direction for our lives. May we, may I, see you more clearly in these Lenten days and follow you more carefully, in Christ's name. Amen.
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