Maybe some of you are thinking, “Wow, I didn’t know Pastor Nick was such an egomaniac.” It really isn’t quite as bad as I made it sound – most of the time at least. It just pops up at times and I can be hard to deal with; my wife and God are the ones that get the brunt of this problem of mine. In Barb’s case it can be as simple as her asking me to change a light bulb NOW… and my sinfulness wells up within me. I will do it in three minutes but not right now even though I could. I run the show of my life – not her. What a jerk I can be when I am selfish.
In the case of God this problem occasionally pops up all over in my life in obvious and subtle ways. I would eliminate a lot of the struggle if I truly prayed – “lead me not into temptation” continually in all of its breadth and power. In its totality this petition means, “Lord, may I see all things at all times properly and go where you want to lead me.” All the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer are broader than we can grasp in a single lifetime.
This part of the Lord’s Prayer is a humble acknowledgement that I need help to process life in general and my life in particular. On my own I can turn virtually anything into something I worship or I can take an opportunity to grow and view it as a thing to be avoided. Far too often, my desires can so easily be summed up as a pursuit of wealth, comfort and good health. None of these are bad in themselves but if they are what I seek most of all in my life then there is a problem.
Do I want God to lead me into a life of character development, depth and significance? Do I truly trust God that I can have the same amount of peace and contentment in difficulty as I can experience when the smiles are coming easy and often? The way that God leads us is “the Way of the Cross”. It is a powerful journey that can be packed with joy even in the midst of testing. It is a way that is filled with the presence of God as He leads us in this adventure of faith.
So, am I willing to believe that of all the possible paths I could travel in my life God’s Way is the best? Am I willing to admit that I am drawn to take many journeys down paths that are not the way of Jesus? I am willing but I am also continually tempted off course from both what is “out there” and by what wells up inside of me. With all of that in mind, it makes perfect sense that I will come into the presence of my God each day and ask, “Lord, lead me in your ways. Lead me away from temptations! I need your help, your vision and your power. AMEN.” Will you pray with me?
Following Our Leader,
Pastor Nick Mundis