Posted by Pastor Stuart

Whenever there is an important day or event coming up, I want to be ready for it, so I prepare and focus on it a lot. But maybe too much, because when something big is looming on the horizon, it’s hard to see past it. For example, our annual worship life ebbs and flows between good regular Sundays, and special days or holidays. So in my worship planning, I sketch out all the sermon texts that lead up to the big holy day, like during Lent leading up to Easter, or during Advent leading up to Christmas. But those days feel so important in our worship calendar, they tend to eclipse my planning, and I can’t look past them. So, while I will have every Sunday’s scripture text nailed down for all the seven weeks of Lent and then Easter Sunday, when I wake up on the Monday after, my sermon planning notebook is a blank slate. That’s when I can finally think past the big great day of Easter, and start planning out what the next few weeks will include.

That kind of focused planning happens to me in life too. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have every week of the rest of my life planned out. (I’m lucky if I can remember what’s coming next week!) Some people seem to be able to peer all the way into their future, though, and it makes me jealous. I’ve known many folks who were confident of God’s specific calling on them forever, or always knew what job they would have when they grew up and have continued full steam ahead in their successful career path. I don’t know how they got that inside scoop, or if they made the plans all themselves, but God never laid out to me the full track of my life, with all its twists and turns. What I did feel God showing me was which step to take next, and then providing assurance when I stepped in a good direction.

That’s why I tell people that it’s okay to have a step-by-step calling. You don’t have to see far into the future to be assured that God will lead you step by step. The world can feel dark, but God can speak to you with words that act as a lamp to your feet and a light for your path (Psalm 119:105). Think of the Holy Spirit as your flashlight at night. It might not show you the whole way till the end of your journey, but it can definitely show you where you are and where to step next.

Right now I’m looking ahead to great things like graduate recognition on Pentecost Sunday, Vacation Bible School, and Youth Camp. Those things are so wonderful that I couldn’t plan anything past them if I wanted to. They’ll get me to mid-July, so at that point I’ll pull out the church calendar and see what’s next. But for now, let’s enjoy where we are, because we’re in one of the funnest times of our year. And, as a matter of fact, thinking about the Holy Spirit as a light that shines in the dark is perfect for our Vacation Bible School theme. We will be looking at the night sky, at the lights of the planets and stars, and remember that the Creator of galaxies created us too.

Those stars and galaxies are very far away. And the path of our life might take us to places that are very different than where we started, but God will be walking with us, step by step. That reminds me of one of my favorite worship songs, written by the great Christian songwriter Rich Mullins in the early ’90s. I won’t say that it’s a good note to end on, because it’s not about ending, it’s about continuing on your journey, step by step:

Sometimes the night was beautiful.
Sometimes the sky was so far away.
Sometimes it seemed to stoop so close
You could touch it but your heart would break.
Sometimes the morning came too soon.
Sometimes the day could be so hot.
There was so much worth left to do,
But so much you’d already done.

Oh God, you are my God, And I will ever praise you.
Oh God, you are my God, And I will ever praise you.
I will seek you in the morning, And I will learn to walk in your ways.
And step by step you’ll lead me, And I will follow you all of my days.

Sometimes I think of Abraham;
How one star he saw had been lit just for me.
He was a stranger in this land,
And I am that, no less than he.
And on this road to righteousness,
Sometimes the climb can be so steep.
I may falter in my steps,
But never beyond your reach.

Oh God, you are my God, And I will ever praise you.
Oh God, you are my God, And I will ever praise you.
I will seek you in the morning, And I will learn to walk in your ways.
And step by step you’ll lead me, And I will follow you all of my days.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *