Looking for direction?

The summer months are often times for rest, relaxation and refreshment. But also time and space to think. Many take annual leave for a change of pace, to go and visit fresh locations or return to an old favourite so as to recharge the batteries. We need the time for recreation even if it is as simple as a few days out, or time spent enjoying the countryside to clear the head and lift our spirits.

Yet the month of August can also be a time when people are looking for direction. The annual exam results days loom large in the calendar of anxious students (and their parents). Whatever the outcome in terms of grades achieved, or plans realized or even revised, it leads to making decisions that affect the direction of life. Through this process we start to develop our talents in a particular area and will hopefully find our niche as time marches on. The long-term pathway we take through life is what Christians sometimes describe as finding our vocation. It might sound all too pressurized, but here is help at hand when we turn to God!

On our poster for August we have some more important words to store up in our minds and hearts which can be drawn on when we are making decisions. It’s a line that comes from one of the Psalms which were poetic words (which we have) set to music (that we don’t have). The Psalm it comes from is mainly about asking for God’s forgiveness, since if we don’t admit our wrong and ask to be forgiven we find that our personality dries up. But, to those who seek God’s forgiveness we learn that their response to his amazing grace is to have a heart and mind devoted to God. The Psalm contains a wonderful promise: ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go’ (Psalm 32v8). It speaks of a close and good relationship with God, who provides vigilant and intimate care of his people. So, we can trust him to direct the course of our lives. This is an important truth to reassure us in times of uncertainty.

So, whatever crossroads we reach and however much we may struggle to see the direction our lives should take, we can be sure of God’s guiding hand.

I hope that your summer is a time for vacation but also perhaps of discovering your vocation in God’s service.

Paul Kingman