West Chelmsford United Methodist Church
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Where are we going? I remember as a child asking my parents that question as I rode in our old Plymouth with my father at the wheel. I always wanted to know where we were headed (and how long it would be before we got there!). I suppose all children ask such questions of their (hopefully) patient parents; the problem is, I never outgrew that question. So here I am, a 60-year-old pastor, still asking that question of my life and of my congregation: where are we going?
In a sense, it is a question none of us can answer. When I rode in the car as a child and asked where we were going, I had no control (and very little influence) over where I was going; I was going where my parents were taking me! The decision of where I was going was made for me, and generally with very little input from me.
I think too many of us see our adult lives in a similar way. We see our challenges and apparent limitations and let them determine where we are going with our life. We think what we have seen in the past, and what we see before us today, is all there is. We sit in the back seat and let other factors drive us where we are going.
But are we really just passengers along the way? I believe we can make a difference in where we are going. My father (besides driving that old Plymouth) had some wise sayings, and one of them was: “You have more control over your life than you think you have.” Our lives are not totally determined by where and when we were born, or the good or bad breaks we get along the way, or what others think of us. It is important what we ourselves do with our lives – the choices we make around our families, our education, our work, and our character.
But we do not make those decisions in a vacuum. People of faith like you and me are called to make the decisions in our lives based on the teachings of our faith, and in the context of our relationship with God. We look to God to help us make the right decisions – decisions that honor God and help to build the Kingdom of God in our world.
So no, I don’t know exactly where you and I are going, but I know we are going there by making our own decisions with our eyes and hearts open to the leading of God’s spirit.