Devotion: The Wanderer

Gen. 12:1   Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.  2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.  3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

One of of the many joys of being an office-less pastor is the decision to turn left or right out of my driveway each morning.  Turning left will take me towards Caribou on Fairview, Whole Foods or Panera on Providence.  At these places I am guaranteed to see a friend, a Waypointer, and people I know in the city.  Turning right, I can go to some unnamed locations where I can focus on prayer, sermon writing, and blogging (guess where I am).

Each morning, I am forced to make that decision.  Where am I going? I have to wander around the home office gathering up my computer, its power cable, my Bible, a prayer journal or notebook, a commentary or a short story.

Like Abram, I am gathering up my stuff, and beginning my wandering around the city.  I am eager for who God will place in my path this day.

The above Genesis passage, along with Paul’s departure from the religious building in Acts 18:7, are two key passages in my ministry.

Abram left without clear direction…He went where God sent him.  This became the spiritual discipline in wandering.  Wandering in scripture is often a time of revelation. After disappointments, the people of the Bible wandered, learning to rely upon God.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God they were forced out of the stability of the Garden.  When Cain killed his brother, he was to become a wandering fugitive.  When Moses murdered a man, he wandered the land of Midian.  When the Israelites disobeyed God they wandered for 40 years.  David wandered the hills as he ran from Saul.  In the wandering, we discover our inability to manage life and, instead, become wholly dependent upon God.

Maybe we have wandered from a relationship.  Or wandered from our exercise regime.  Or wandered from a job. Or our ethics. Or our life plan. Or our faith.  Or a diet.  At some level, we all are wandering.  Wandering and wondering.

However, this is one of the reasons Jesus’s first act after His baptism was to go wander for 40 days in the wilderness.  So that He could find all of us wanderers and bring us back.

So, as I wander the streets of Charlotte looking for free wifi and clean bathrooms, really I am looking for Christ and for you.  Because God’s purpose in our wandering is “for the people to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17:26).

As I turned left this morning, the plea of Mumford and his sons became my prayer:

But hold me fast, hold me fast
‘Cause I’m a hopeless wanderer
And hold me fast, hold me fast
‘Cause I’m a hopeless wanderer

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