Pastor's Blog

Packing For Life Posted 4.25.2014

T-minus three days.  It won’t be long now until our hardy group is all on its way to Tel Aviv, for two weeks of trekking through the land of Israel.  I probably don’t need to mention that I can’t wait.  This trip has been over a year in the planning stages, so it’s a relief just to pack. But of course, when you pack a suitcase decisions are required.  So the next days will be filled with lots decisions that will impact “my look” in hundreds of pictures for year to come.  Such pressure.


Sometimes I pack too many pants. Sometimes it is shoes that clutter my hotel room.  Or it can be t-shirts or hats or sock or undies (well, it’s never undies….you can’t have enough of those!).  I wasn’t going to bring but one pair of short pants, until I checked the weather –it’s pushing 90 in Jerusalem (the coolest of our locales).  So, more decisions and adjustments.  You see, more information helps.  More sunscreen, no jacket.


Life is a series of decisions. In one of our best celebrations of the Passion, at least five folks made the decision to trust Jesus to keep His promise of eternal life.  That’s huge.  And significant.  And praiseworthy. 


But, most of our decisions rarely dent the long-term direction of life, even thought we treat them like they do.  Often the most significant decisions we make are those we just plunge into, without considering God and His wisdom.  Isn’t that odd?  I can stew over wardrobe selections (even on a Sunday morning) and then make a much more important decision without stopping to seek God.


There will be day when my decisions are all sorted out, however.  A day is coming when my King will sort through my decisions and weigh them in the balance.  That should not make me hesitant to choose or afraid to choose an option – but it should drive me to my knees more often than not.  Let’s be honest, we seldom use the wonderfully powerful gift of our brains to make truly wise decisions.  We flip coins.  We read the astrology column.  We listen to a commercial.  We trust our emotions.  We listen to an unbelieving friend’s perspective.  And then we wonder why the consequences of our decisions don’t bring us closer to God.


So next time you pack, remember that those decisions are not all that life-altering.  Relax.  Get some good advice and pack away.  But then as you approach that next fork in the road – bathe it in prayer.  Seek advice from God’s Word.  Listen to the Spirit as your amazing brain sorts through the options.  Thank God for good options and then submit all of life to Him.


Decisions can send some into a tailspin.  Trust the light you’ve been given – and pray.  And if you wear the same pair of pants every day in Israel, will anybody really ever care?  Only if they smell or I spill falafel on them.  Which is a distinct possibility.  If the Back Page is bland next Sunday – know I’m having too good a time to stop and write.  Shalom.


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