Faith Matters: In a fog? Try divine GPS

  • The Orange United Methodist Church. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Judy Jones, pastor at the Orange United Methodist Church. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

Pastor, Orange United Methodist and South Athol United Methodist
Published: 3/10/2017 8:00:00 PM

(The following is a submission to The Recorder's weekly column, “Faith Matters.” Each Saturday, a faith leader in Franklin County offers a personal perspective in this space. To become part of this series, email religion@recorder.com or call 413-772-0261, ext. 265.)

“While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud, a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’” Matthew 17:5

Several years ago, my husband and I were invited to spend a long holiday weekend with friends at their daughter’s new home in Connecticut. However, we had never visited their daughter’s home and didn’t know how to get there. This was before we had Google Maps on our cell phones! However, our friends had one of those portable GPS gadgets that you attach to your dashboard. They programmed the address into the machine and handed it over to us with best wishes to join them later in the evening.

What none of us realized was that the GPS gadget had been programmed to avoid highways — what I call “over the river and through the woods” mode. Normally, this would delight my husband and me — we love a good road trip. However, we were leaving after dark … and a weather pattern had moved in that created a deep heavy fog. It was the thickest fog I had ever experienced.

So, there we were … traveling in the dark to a destination we had never before been, on back country roads … in a pea soup fog so thick we could barely see the edge of the road. At points on the trip, our visibility was so poor that we were literally following the arrow on the screen of our GPS to navigate our way. It was a little scary — sometimes we were going so slow that it barely felt like we were moving.

When in our lives do we find ourselves in a fog? When have we found ourselves enveloped in a thick cloud and we don’t know where to turn, or how to move forward? Have you experienced this? A time perhaps when all of life just seems to overwhelm you and you don’t know where to turn, or how to move forward. Or a time when the bottom of your life seems to have fallen out, and you are lost in the fog of everything crashing down upon you. I dare say we’ve all had a time like that … and we know that there may be times like that in our future.

At times like these, remember, you are not alone. Christ is with you. Hear God telling you … “This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him.” Then, move into the fog. God will not call you to anything for which He does not have your back. He will not call you to anything for which He will not give you all that you need to see you through.

When my husband and I were caught in that pea soup fog that night so many years ago, we couldn’t see our way through. We had to keep our eyes focused on that GPS gadget, trusting that it knew just where we were, where the obstacles were ahead of us, where the turns were that we would need to take. When we gave ourselves over to trusting in that little gadget, we made it through the fog to our destination

So, too, can it be for our lives. When we give ourselves over to faith and trust in God’s voice and keep our focus on Christ … He will see us through all our trials and reveal to us His glory.

About Orange and South Orange United Methodist churches

Judy Jones is pastor of Orange United Methodist Church, 104 South Main St. in Orange. We are an open and friendly congregation seeking to share Christ’s love with each other and the community. Join us for worship every Sunday morning at 11 a.m. Pastor Jones also serves South Athol United Methodist Church at 65 Morgan Avenue, Athol. South Athol UMC is a reconciling congregation welcoming all into the life and missions of our church. Join us for worship Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. Sunday School is offered for children during the same hours. We look forward to sharing with you.




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