How do we know which way to go? How can we discern the right direction of life?
Last week, on top of everything going on at work, a man was coming to collect our car, which we'd sold on ebay. Due to a mix up, he arrived while I was in a meeting with the diocese up in London. So Jane and I set off to Leighton Buzzard in convoy to deliver the car to him. It was dark and raining and the height of the rush-hour on the M1. Jane had the satnav and I was following, but in the traffic and the rain I'd soon lost her. I tried to remember where to come off the motorway, but when I did there were no signs to Leighton Buzzard. I found myself driving around Bedfordshire with no idea where I was. I was beginning to doubt if Leighton Buzzard really existed; perhaps the whole place was an elaborate hoax to lure unsuspecting drivers into some kind of cruel perpetual quest. I did eventually find Leighton Buzzard, Jane and the man, sold the car and then discovered how relatively easy it was to get home. But at the time it was an alarming and disorientating experience.
Many people's lives are like that: scrabbling around in the dark having no real idea which direction to go. I thank God that my life has direction and purpose. Jesus said: "I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but have the light of life" (John 8:12).
What is true for our lives is also true for the life of our church. God is constantly showing us the direction to go. Specifically for us at the moment we believe he has shown us that we are to buy and move to Solar House. It is not an easy ride. As I read Psalm 119, I applied it to my own reaction to this challenging journey:
What you have said to me is a lamp to my feet and light to my path. I promised once and I'll promise again: I will follow your leading. Lord, I've been really stressed out. Refresh my vitality again, just as you promised. Lord, accept my grateful thanks and teach me your ways. The life of this project constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop pursuing your purposes. Circumstances seem to have conspired to set traps for us along the way, but I will not be deflected from your guidance to us. Your directions are my treasure; they are truly my heart's delight. I am determined to keep to your path, right to the very end. (with abject apologies to the writer of Psalm 119; cf. vs:105-112)