We have crossed the threshold from 2015 to 2016! We are on the brink, at the dawn, on the verge of a new year. As singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer says, “At a threshold there’s often a moment where what is old has passed away, but the new hasn’t quite arrived yet. So you stand there at the doorway.” As you and I stand in the doorway, we can take time to contemplate how to make this new year count. How can we make this quickly passing time significant? When you and I are on the threshold of 2017, will we look back at wasted time or will we smile at what we and God have done together?
FOLLOWING GOD’S SIGNPOSTS
My almost 16-year-old granddaughter and I had just finished her assignment for English, an interview with me for the “Elder Project” of Story Corp. Soon I would be dropping her off to meet a friend at a movie theater for an afternoon of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. When I asked which theater we had to go to, she gave me the name but said she had no idea what street it was on.
Since her major preoccupation these days is getting her driver’s license, I asked her how she would find her way around if she didn’t know street names. Of course, she said she would use her phone for directions. But she also realized she would be more comfortable if she knew the names of the major roads she was driving on and could tell what direction she was going.
As we drove to the theater, I (ever the teacher) began explaining: “Lake Michigan is that way; if you know where the lake is, you will always be able to figure out what direction you are going. . . . This street is one of the few that goes all the way north/south through the city, but the name changes at the 96 business loop. . . . The movie theater is right here – between James St. and Lakewood Dr.”
The next day I thought about how that discussion was a metaphor for the Christian life – especially as we cross the threshold of a new year. How much more purposeful and Christ-like we can be if we know how to get where we want to go! Psalm 19: 7-8 tells us how God can help us navigate life in 2016:
“The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life –maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes” (The Message)
Think about this passage as you ride or walk the streets where you live. Pay attention to the street signs and traffic signs you pass. Remind yourself that God provides all the signposts, the life-maps, and directions we need for our lives. We find them in Scripture first and then watch for them as we travel.
Remember, too, that we have a built-in GPS system called the Holy Spirit. Just as we have to watch for street signs and traffic signals, we have to listen for the Spirit’s directions: “Stop here.” Turn around there.” “Back up.” “Go ahead.” “Be careful at this dangerous intersection.”
As we cross the threshold into 2016, we will be walking through new territory. We can navigate the twists and turns and find our way safely and more comfortably through each day by learning and following God’s signs, maps, and directions.