Jeremiah 10:23 – I know, O Lord, that the way of human beings is not in their control, that mortals as they walk cannot direct their steps. (NRSV)
Back in 1966 in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, life was a two-channel universe pictured in black and white and topped by rabbit ears. I'm sure that some readers will remember those old television sets, which are quite a contrast to today's television options!
For me, a welcome distraction each summer was a visit from my cousin and his family who lived in the exotic place called Fenelon Falls, Ontario.
Every August, a car pulling a small travel trailer would top the hill and proceed to park itself in our front yard. The vehicle would barely stop when the door would fly open and my cousin would hit the ground at top speed. Being the son of a preacher man seemed to have no effect on this relative of the Tasmanian devil.
Thus, it was with great glee that he found behind our henhouse a solid steel ball the size of a shot put. Earlier, my brother and I had gone on a Victoria Day fishing trip with our father to a place called Forest Hills, where back in the 1920s, there had been a gold mine, long since abandoned. In the remains of the ore crusher, we had found that steel ball and had taken it home as a great treasure.
Right away, my very excited cousin decided that it would make the perfect shot put. When he found it too heavy for his ten-year-old arm to throw any distance, he decided to wrap it in an old rag. A couple of spins of his body and it sailed through the air looking like Halley's comet.
We were having a lot of fun and all was going fine until he decided to try it in the front yard, within distance of his father's beautiful 1959 Buick Electra with the neat wraparound rear window. Well, the steel comet made a lovely arc in the air, and both of us knew where it was headed, but all we could do was stand there and watch.
Now, up to that point in my life, I didn't know that Protestant ministers heard confessions or dispensed penance, but I'm sure that's what took place in the trailer that August afternoon.
Needless to say, it was a very subdued boy that emerged from the trailer the next morning after his father left to tour the auto salvage yards to find a new window for his car.
Do you ever feel that your life is spinning out of control? We all live through times when things are moving too fast or in a direction that we don't want. We have such a feeling of helplessness and a sense of dread as we watch things that we have said or done take on lives of their own. It can be very scary.
Yet, we must always remember that God is constantly in control. There is a purpose to everything we do. If we listen to the Holy Spirit, then things will turn out, not as we want, but as God desires. Our confession is always in order:
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please hear my prayer: I forget to let go and give You control. I wonder why things aren't going the way that I want them to go. I forget to stop and ask what You want. Lord, help me to realize that what I desire may not be what is meant for me, or what is best for me. Lord, let me accept each day as a gift. May I follow the path that You choose for me. May I concentrate on living to please You! Give me strength, faith, and hope, and most of all, give me guidance each and every day. May I trust in You! In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Jesus Bids Us Shine" (Lyrics)