Who we are is more important than where we're going
Like many of you, I suspect, I got caught up this week in the traffic jams and tail-backs caused by a mixture of atrocious weather and accidents. To the school sitting in assembly waiting for me to appear when I was still in a queue in an entirely different county, I can only apologise.
In such situations we can do little but wait for the cars to start moving again. Sometimes, as I do, you might think about taking a turning, cutting round the back of somewhere else and using the shortcut that you know. The problem I found is that several hundred other people had the same idea. I gradually came to the conclusion that whichever way I chose it would be the wrong decision.
When it comes to bigger choices in life: what career we should pursue, who we should marry, what values we should teach our children, we can come to believe the choices can seem impossible to make. If only there was someone who could map out our lives for us so that each step was clearly marked. If only each day came with instructions so that our decisions could be made without any problem whatsoever.
This is probably the point where regular readers expect me to hold up the Bible as such a guide or instruction book. But I am not going to. Yes there are rules, directions and good advice to be found within its 66 books but if we treat the Bible as some celestial sat-nav, we will have missed its central point.
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A wise man many years ago told me that God was much more interested in who I was than where I was. As a young person I agonised over the question of "What direction should I take?" I know now that God was waiting for me to ask "Who do you want me to be wherever I go?" Or to put it bluntly: God was far more bothered about how I behaved in the traffic jam this week than whether or not I got to my appointment on time.
Malc' Halliday is centre manager of the Christian Resources Project, Plymouth. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.