With our fractious society today and its many advocacy groups and competing agenda’s, where do we go for truth, moral righteousness and peace?
We have Right to Life vs Planned Parenthood, the Little Sisters of the Poor vs the government health care mandates, freedom of religion vs the demands of the LGBT community, and of course political parties advocating opposing positions on a host of issues. In this election year, no single candidate seems acceptable to a majority of the voters.
We have fad diets, fad clothing and fad entertainment; lists of what’s in and what’s out at the beginning of each new year; and more choices on social media than we have time to use.
The Gospel of John reports that at one point many of Jesus’ followers started to grumble about some of his teachings and no longer followed him. Jesus asked the Twelve whether they wanted to leave him also. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69)
Both as individuals and as a society, we are constantly looking for meaning and purpose, but the world around us takes us to and fro, and tosses us around like a small boat on a stormy sea. Everyone seeks peace, but there can be no peace until the love of God is fixed in everyone’s heart.
In our early 40’s while our children were still young, my wife and I faced a decision as to how we wanted to live our lives as a married couple and family. We had each experienced a personal encounter with Jesus and a renewal of the power of the Holy Spirit on an individual basis, but how were we going to live as a family? We believed that God was calling us to put him at the center of our marriage and family. We thought of the words of Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Like the apostles, we have tried to follow that call.
Looking back after many years, I would attribute a number of blessings to this decision: two more children added to our existing three daughters including a son and a special needs daughter who has taught us so much about God’s love and ways; career choices attempting to follow God’s will that allowed more time for family and him; involvement in Christian ministry; four of the children married and raising Christian families of their own; thirteen grandchildren to love and pray for.
Of course we have made mistakes and there have been our share of challenges along the way, but God has remained absolutely faithful in his care and provision for us.
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well.” (Matthew 6:31-33)