Greetings in Christ!
This week, we turn to the posture of guidance. This may seem a bit strange. Is guidance truly a posture? Who is giving this guidance? Who is receiving it? Where do I fit in?
We all ask that question. Where do we fit in? At work? At school? In our family? In the great scheme of things? We want to know that we have a role and a responsibility, a purpose within our contexts. Guidance helps us to answer this question.
Sometimes, to our great surprise, people search us out for guidance. They see in us a skill, experience, or wisdom that they value. Others often see with better clarity the ways that we may offer guidance, the gifts that we have to share. When others seek out that input from us, our ability to offer guidance helps us to see a bit more clearly about how we fit into the grand scheme of things.
At other times, much more often, we need guidance ourselves. At the end of John 6, when the Bread of Life teachings caused many disciples to leave Jesus’ side, Peter speaks for the small smattering that remained. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” In the midst of life’s difficulties, whether struggles at work, problems at home, or battles with faith, we need guidance from the outside, from someone with the experience, the knowledge, and the compassion to point us in the right direction.
Of course, this begins with our Creator, our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit. We may seek God’s guidance through prayer, through scripture reading, through devotional practices and meditation, all of which provide valuable access to guidance. Yet, we may also find God’s guidance in our network of relationships. People in the congregation, our elders in faith if not elders in age, each have different experiences of faith that may provide guidance for our own journeys. People in the community know how to navigate the political and business spheres in ways that could guide our future decisions. In each of these conversations, with God at the center and faithfulness as our goal, guidance may help to reveal to us where we belong, our identity as a child of God in this place. We all need guidance in our lives, both as givers and receivers.
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