I had an incredible opportunity earlier this month to spend eight peaceful and spirit-filled days at the Presbytery CREDO Conference, located at Beaver Hollow Conference Center in Western New York. It was a beautiful setting – on the lakeside with peak colors of fall foliage all around. I had the chance to converse, commiserate, laugh and worship with my peers; but I also had lots of time – for better or for worse – to be alone; alone with my thoughts; alone with my hope and fears; alone with God.
I was walking on the trails one day, listening to Pandora, and a song came on that I’ve heard before but something led me right then to pay attention to the words, so when I got back to my room I looked up the lyrics online. It’s by a group called Carolina Liars and part of it goes like this:
Save me, I’m lost; O Lord, I’ve been waiting for you.
I’ll pay any cost, just save me from being confused.
Show me what I’m looking for, show me what I’m looking for; O Lord.
It can take a lot of courage to admit that sometimes we feel lost, that we’ll do just about anything to not feel confused. Often, our prayers to God are for direction and guidance – we want to know where we’re headed and how exactly we’re going to get there. We want the same God who gives us freedom both to hope and to fear to provide us with answers; to show us what we’re looking for.
On our last full day on retreat, I snuck away to have a golfing retreat and, while walking the little country course – again alone with my thoughts and my God – I heard the same song again. Only this time, the words didn’t resonate as being quite so true. I had never played that little course before; I wasn’t sure where all the water hazards and bunkers were located, but as long as I could see the pin, I could “hit and hope.” Did I always find the green? Of course not. But I didn’t need to be paralyzed by the unknown; I didn’t have to be afraid.
I believe that everyone goes through times in their lives when they feel lost; and I certainly don’t think there is anything wrong with praying to God for guidance and direction. But, I also believe that God has already revealed to us – and continues to show us – what we are looking for. As Christians, we believe that we have already been saved – from our confusion, from our fear, from our mistakes – through the gift of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. Ultimately, that is why – instead of being immobilized and afraid – we instead can hit and hope.
I hope that each of can find in your life the beauty in life and creation; that you can find experiences that will offer you peace and fill your spirit. And I pray that, through God revealed to us in Christ, you may have life in its fullness. AMEN.