Running Ahead

Thursday, July 15, 2010
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Psalm 37:34a – Wait for the Lord and keep his way. (NIV)

Currently, I'm on a four-day personal prayer fast and vision-casting retreat. For the last year, I've been so busy at church that I feel as though (and certainly know) that I've been running ahead of God and expecting Him to catch up with me. That's not how our spiritual relationship is supposed to work. Like everyone else, I'm meant to stand and wait for His call to show me the way ahead.

I remember years ago, when I was about five years old, my family went on a vacation to Prestwick, Scotland. Each day, we used to walk down to the beach on a path alongside a small creek (which is called a "burn" in Scotland). At the end of the path, there was a fork with two separate destinations. One day, I ran ahead of my family and chose my own path. I fully expected my parents and siblings to follow me. When they went the other way, I felt stupid, fearful, and angry.

My Dad called me back, and when I reached him, he told me, "If you had asked me which way we were going before you ran on ahead, I would have told you."

That's why I feel that I need this prayer and fasting mini-retreat. I need to ask God where He wants our church to go, what He wants our Session to do, and how He wants me to lead. I don't find stopping and waiting, praying and fasting easy, but I don't want to go down the wrong path either.

Perhaps spiritually, some of our readers are feeling distant or even isolated from God. Maybe like me, we've busily run on ahead, thinking that God will soon catch up. But it could be that we've stumbled down the wrong path and that He's now calling us back to where He wants us to be.

Sometimes the path less travelled is not what God expects us to choose or to follow.

Prayer: Father God, each day, we are faced with choices that take us on new journeys and to different destinations. Sometimes we follow our own lead and end up distant from You. Give us the courage to turn around, to wait for Your guidance, and to listen to Your directions. Keep us from straying, and help us to be led by Jesus, our Shepherd and Saviour. In His name, we pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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