Many people get tied up with big questions like "What is the meaning of life?" or "What is my life's purpose?" These questions are difficult enough that many people give up trying to answer! But there's an easier, and I think more meaningful, way to look at this.
Regular readers of the PresbyCan Daily Devotional will know that I was recently on holiday in London, England, during which I was struck by the slogan for the city's transit service: "Every Journey Matters". From a Christian perspective, I wonder if the slogan is incomplete and should really be "Every Journey Matters to God"!
The notion of "journey" is very important in my life, and in my faith life in particular. In an earlier part of my life, my Christian beliefs were very influenced by the life and teachings of St. Ignatius. In the Ignatian tradition, the words "desolation" and "consolation" are extremely important. Both words imply movement, the first implying movement away from God, and the second implying movement towards God. So when I think of "journey" — when I think of each of the journeys in my life — I tend to think of it in those terms. In other words, at any point in my life, I should be able to ask myself, Am I moving towards God, or away from God? Whenever I face a decision in life, a choice between courses of action, I should be able to ask myself, Does this take me closer to God, or away from God? And I have two great tools — the Bible and prayer — to help me answer that question.
Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. (NIV)
A minister once explained this passage by saying that in Jesus' time, a lamp would not have thrown a lot of light, so would not have illuminated much distance. But it would show the immediate area, and would help to indicate whether people were on the right track and heading in the right direction.
Psalm 19:8 – The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. (NIV)
If you struggle sometimes with the big questions of life, consider instead focusing on the journey. Consider using the Bible and prayer to determine whether your next step is taking you closer to God, or further away. Even the longest journey is just a series of steps. If each step is in the right direction, the journey will take care of itself!
Prayer: Loving God, we often face difficult decisions in life, or wonder where our lives are going. Thank You for offering us help and guidance and support as we take each and every step along life's journey. Thank You for loving us so much, for it is Your love that keeps us going, no matter what. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "Face To Face With Christ My Saviour" (Lyrics)