Going the right way

Our car came with a built-in Sat Nav.  The reason we’d never previously bought one is because both Mr Pamsperambulation and I think we know better!  Many are the tales ‘It will be much better/quicker/nicer if we go this way’, in our car.

In its time, going our way has taken us up mountains, very beautiful, but very very slow!  As in this route over the D902, “It’s not much further” – actually it’s a lot further because the road goes round and round on itself and you can’t drive more than about 20mph or you might fall off the edge of the mountain!!

And of course there are plenty of  tales of following Sat Nav directions getting people into all kinds of trouble by following them.

It is very easy to go the wrong way, to do the wrong thing.  It is human nature.  However good things are, whatever has been given us, we get caught up in some other thought and before we know it, we’re off at a tangent.

This is what happened in Exodus.  God had brought the people out of Egypt, rescued them from their life of slavery, and how do they repay him?  They build a calf, worship that, and claim that is the god that has saved them.  They immediately leave the way God has commanded them to go.  They want to do their own thing, make God in their image and go their own way.  They have no desire to follow the directions God has given them, they think they know better.

Paul is someone else who had been going his own way.  He had heard about Jesus, and had taken great pride and enjoyment in saying evil things and persecuting his followers.  He had got it wrong.  He knew that now, and pours out his thanks that Christ saved him.  He wants to tell people, that it isn’t just him that Jesus has saved.  Jesus came into the world to save all sinners.

Sinner isn’t a word we  like to use.  But if we have gone in a different direction to the way God shows us, that is what we are.  We are people who have got things wrong –  which of us can say we haven’t?

But the good news about God is not that he knows that we have got things wrong, but that he has done something about it.  Paul was not left.  God had mercy on him, showed his patience, he was forgiven.

For God has a right way to go, the best path for us to follow, but if we stray from it, he doesn’t write us off, but seeks us out. The religious authorities of Jesus’ day were rather upset that he ate with outcasts from society, those who did not fit within the expected norms, those who had strayed from the perceived way.  But Jesus reminds them that is why he is there.  If someone has ‘gone astray’, he doesn’t write them off, or replace them.  No he goes to seek them out.  They are precious to him and he will search and search until he finds them – and what joy when he does.

So, there is a right way that is God’s way.  But we all get things wrong – spectacularly so at times.  We take wrong turnings, we get confused, we think we know better…

But Jesus comes to save us.  To seek us and find us, to put us on his shoulders and carry us back.  We have done nothing too bad, have never strayed too far, but that he leaves what he is doing – just for us – and how happy he is when he finds us.  He pours his love and mercy on us, and strengthens us to do his work.  For when we are no longer busy trying to live with ourselves, or covering up what we’ve got wrong, or desperately trying to find our way out, we have the strength to do God’s work.

So lets come to God, he is looking for each one of us.  Lets allow him to pick us out of whatever we have got ourselves into.  Lets receive his forgiveness and freedom, and walk in his love and trust along his path.

~ by pamjw on September 7, 2010.

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