Took a vacation recently. Spent a lot of time wandering. Wandered around the neighborhood. Wandered around an abandoned golf course. Wandered around a park. Wandered around the house. No particular place to be. No designated time to be there. Just lots of space and time to move about. I found all the walking very refreshing because I knew it was temporary. It wouldn’t last more than a week.
We (and the world) organize our life in such a way that almost everything ends in a destination. For some it might be a high school education or maybe a college degree. For many it’s a good job, a house, and a spouse. Then, maybe, children and eventually grandchildren. Finally it’s retirement. We all have an X on the map of life.
There is a place we are all trying to get to, but it isn’t always easy. Truth be told it’s usually hard to get there. We get frustrated because the way isn’t straight forward. There are lots of side steps, detours, and reroutes. We grow tired of all the seeming aimlessness. We just want to get there. In the famous words of almost every child, “Are we there yet?”
The Isrealites were wanderers too. They wandered for a long time - decades. All the while they complained. They wanted to know where they were going. Why were they out there in the first place? Mostly, they wanted to reach the destination. The one God promised them. But it wasn’t time yet. According to God’s plan they still needed to wander. So they kept going. One step, one day at a time.
Maybe that’s the takeaway from the Isrealites. God does have a very specific destination in mind for us, but in order to get there we have to spend time wandering. Not because God wants us to live aimless lives, but because a time of preparation is needed before we get there. A time when we deliberately walk in the presence of God without trying to get somewhere. A time when we rely on God to guide us, even though we don’t know where we are going. A time when we trust God to bring us to the destination, the divine X on the map.
As we wander during this pandemic, unsure when it will end or where we will be on the other side of it, let’s take it one step at a time, one day at a time. Let’s trust God. God has a specific destination in mind for us. One which the Bible says is flowing with milk and honey (a biblical way to describe the goodness and sweetness of God.) When we are out there somewhere perhaps we should think of it this way, we are wandering into the goodness and sweetness of God one step at a time, one day at a time.
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First United Presbyterian Church
c/o Sarah Evers
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Collinsville, IL 62234
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