Reverend Patrick Evans, Senior Pastor
I Hate All the Uncertainty
I don't know whether or not you have a GPS in your car, but if you do, it may take you places you have never been. One of the things I have discovered about using my GPS is routes I would have never taken without its prompting. The GPS offers me routes I had not considered or were too complex for me to navigate on my own.
As summer approaches, I recall how we use to plan vacations. Deb and I would get maps out, choose the roads we would take, plan the cities, the highways, and route we would follow and the hotels along the way. Now we find ourselves taking our GPS and just plugging in the final address. In fact, the other day in Dallas I used the GPS to guide me to a hospital for a visit and found it even more useful in avoiding bad traffic on the way home. We ended up taking some roads that well, were sketchy. I was thinking "There is a reason there is no traffic on this road". But in reality, I have to admit that my issue is that I dislike uncertainty. I personally want to be able to see my whole route mapped out and be able to inquire why this GPS thinks this route is better. There are also plenty of times I just ignore the GPS because I have a preferred route. It could be because of a restaurant or gas station I want to visit that's just off the map, but my biggest issue is I just don't want to trust the recommendation.
In John 14, Jesus was about to leave his disciples and he tells them "You know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas then says to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus' disciples felt uncertainty and fear when Jesus spoke of going away. Thomas had a gift for asking honest questions. He wouldn't pretend to understand if he didn't understand. He demanded to know the way and to know where Jesus was going. Thomas's blunt honesty gave Jesus the opportunity to clarify the answer: "I am the way the truth and the life." Jesus then goes on to tell us that he is leading us to the Father and that the journey was to a person, not a place. Into the knowledge of God and into the presence of God… That's our destination. The destination to be with God involves all these turns, highways, back roads, and trails that we may be unfamiliar with, so the uncertainty of the journey takes faith. Through knowing Jesus and following Him, our destination is with God. In that certainty I can rest, I can breathe, and I can enjoy the journey.
As Deb and I prepare for vacation, I recall the joy of past vacations and the excitement of seeing and experiencing new things. Funny how it works that now I am ready to enjoy uncertainty. I suspect it's my attitude that determines how much I enjoy things. Am I filled with anxiousness or with anticipation? It still depends, just as it depends on my faith in Christ to lead me to the Father.
Sometimes when I have been traveling, my GPS has given me this warning of "Recalculating" when there has been a change in the road or I have missed a turn or stopped for food. It's not really a problem, but on occasion, I have gotten the message: "Turn around." There are times in life when we just need to turn around. The Bible calls it "Repent". Because when left to our own devices, not all roads lead us to good places. So, we listen to Jesus. Do not be anxious in following where Jesus leads us, even if it's a dirt road filled with potholes. Because along even the bumpiest paths, we may see the most amazing places if we choose to go where He calls us.
Grace & Peace,
Rev. Patrick Evans