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Categorized | From the Pulpit

Fork in the road

Pastor Inge Whittemore

East Nelson Church

9024 18 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs, MI, (616) 696-0661

A giant metal fork was set up at a rural intersection in Franklin, Kentucky back in May of 2018. Made of stainless steel, it was constructed by a shop class at the nearby high school. It’s 21 feet tall, weighs almost 700 pounds and is set into concrete. It truly is a “fork in the road.”

I read somewhere that whatever direction you are headed determines your destination. Set a course for north here in Michigan and we will eventually land up at the Straits of Mackinac and the bridge to the U.P.  Head west and eventually we will find the Pacific Ocean. Our direction sets our destination. Sometimes we come to a fork in the road and we take it. Do we know where we are going and how to get there? Are we heading in the right direction? Using a GPS (global positioning satellite) system will help us find the right roads to take to get where we want to go but it doesn’t work if we don’t follow the directions and just simply take the fork in the road.

Recently I was given an exercise regimen to strengthen some of my back muscles. I have to say that after four days and no immediate results, I already started to slack off and then I started to beat myself up a bit on my failure to stick with it. I had a set of directions and I chose not to follow them and my destination (my goal) of strong back muscles was off course. I had veered off the path and had taken the fork in the road. I neglected to realize that strong muscles are a long-term goal and I had set it up for short term results. It is like thinking I want to go the Pacific Ocean and setting my GPS for Hudsonville!

Are you unsure of how and what to think with all that is going on in the world today? It seems there are so many voices calling out to us to follow them because they know the way but they are all going in different directions—east, west, north and south. I wonder what GPS they are using as their guide? Here is what the Psalmist says: “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” (Psalm 25:4-5 ESV). 

The Psalmist is asking the Lord for a GPS, a “God’s Positioning System” to help him with his directions. Just like him, we all need this kind of GPS to help direct us. We need a moral compass that will guide us in all things. We all need direction to help us navigate through the crooked highways, hairpin turns and forks in the road of life and I say, what better GPS than scripture?

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21 (ESV). There is a lot in the Bible that can help guide us. The Book of Proverbs is a really good read for anyone looking to improve their journey through life. There are 31 chapters in it, so give it a month.  Read a new chapter each day for one month and you will find direction and new wisdom for this year. 

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