A Change Of Direction-
When I began college, I was fairly certain that I was going to be an attorney, maybe dabble in politics. Accordingly, I declared a major of Political Science and was off and running. Or so I thought.
Then, an attorney I respected (yes that’s what I said) suggested that an English major was not a bad preparation for law school. He suggested that an English major would offer me the critical analysis and writing skills needed. So, I added English and had a double major of PoliSci/English. Things were moving along. Or so I thought.
At the time, I was working for an attorney (whom I also respected but was not the aforementioned attorney) and was beginning to become a bit disenchanted with what I was asked to do. It began to appear to me that most of what the practice of law entailed was research. I started rethinking my career choice. The life of an English professor in a college, spending my days teaching the mysteries of Milton’s “Paradise Lost” to impressionable young adults began to look appealing. So, I dropped the Political Science and became just an English major (as if one could be “just” an English major). A new direction but one I could live with, and away I went. Or so I thought.
After a while, though, it became clear to me that the gentle nudge I had been feeling toward ordained ministry was becoming a shove in the back. I’ll save all of the details of that for another time and only say, for now, that there was another change of direction and I added a Religion and Philosophy major to English for a double major.
Four changes of major in my first two years of college (there was a fifth change but, again, that’s another story). Life was redirected at every turn; direction was changed at every turn. What I see in retrospect and the advantage of 35 years is the movement of providence, the call of God, the promptings of the Spirit.
This Sunday, we’ll look at change of direction as a response to God’s call. There is no evidence, for example, that Abram was unhappy with his life. God called him to change direction anyway (Genesis 12:1-4). There is no indication that Nicodemus is seeking anything more than a conversation with Jesus. Jesus invites him to be “born new” anyway (John 3:1-17). Perhaps it’s when we’re most comfortable that God calls for us into a new direction.
On this second Sunday in Lent, as we celebrate the new direction brought to us by nine new families uniting with FUMCC, we will consider the question “Where Are You Headed?” I hope that in the many paths you take one of your directions will be to head over to Academy Street and join us Sunday for the conversation.
Grace and peace.