The Way Forward
Fishing on the Taunton River, Maine
The way forward is often uncertain and rarely takes a straight line. Sometimes, we are fine with the routine, the boring, and small pleasures. Sometimes, we long for the sun to brighten the way ahead! But all the time, there are questions lurking about, shrouded in the deep, foggy crevices of our minds.
We desire answers. We seek knowledge, understanding, and wisdom as we puzzle out how to live life. We want to utilize time well and to discover and achieve our intended destinations. On one level, we check maps, compasses, travel and hunting guides, mathematical equations, and YouTube for directions. On a different level, we seek out self help books, mentors, and life coaches to assist us in navigating emotional and spiritual uncertainties. We question the scientist, the historian, the philosopher, the theologian, “Why”, “What is it all about?”, “How am I to make sense of this?”.
Perhaps these lobstermen have a lesson for us. Although they appear headed straight for disaster, they are confidently advancing to the next lobster pot. They are in familiar territory as they pull their traps in the fog. They know the way. They have been following the tactics taught to them by their fathers before them for many years.
Scripture tells us to seek the ancient paths that lead to healthy living through simple, practical instructions which are personally advantageous as well as beneficial for the common good. These include such exhortations as : don’t be a sluggard, care for your family and neighbor, be at peace with all men as much as is possible, be careful about going into debt, avoid bad company, respect one’s elders and leaders, be law abiding, and bring justice to the poor, disenfranchised, and suffering.
The integrity of God’s moral law (Exodus 20) has never been topped. His code of ethics flawlessly guides us how to live life for our own good and the good of others. And most importantly, the redemptive words of Christ in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) point the way to the Kingdom of God. These principles are reliable ancient paths that provide answers to our questions of ethics, purpose, and redemption.
The Psalmist expresses this beautifully: Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
Meet Chris Mace
Christopher Mace graduated from Bowdoin College and Tufts University School of Medicine. Served as a Navy Doctor in Vietnam and has practiced medicine in Downeast Maine since 1970. He is now an Elder at United Baptist Church in Ellsworth Maine. Chris is the author of two books, Listening to God and Dancing with God. You can read more from Chris here: http://sweetwordsfrommaine.music.blog/. He is married and has four children and three grand children.