June 14, 2010 | 01:52 pm

Monday – Finding Our Way

As newborn babies grow into precocious toddlers, one of their primary discoveries is that they have their own will. Once that happens, the challenge of parenting begins! I am not sure how, but these angelic looking little children intuitively know how to use extortion to get us to meet their demands. They watch for our most vulnerable moments—waiting in a long line or sitting in a church service. Then they begin to create a fuss, clearly letting us know that they will escalate this to any level necessary if we do not give in!  As much as toddlers are a handful, I admire that they know exactly what they want.

Something funny happens on the way to adulthood. It gets harder and harder to know what we want out of life. And if you think about it, the sum of how we live is an answer to this question. It is great when we get it right, but two things often happen in the pursuit of our wants. Either we don’t have a clue, so life seems more like we are wandering than living purposefully. Or when we finally arrive to the position we aspired, we find we are still missing something. Knowing what we want can be very elusive, and it can be hard to find a way forward.
The nascent Christian community was known as “people of the Way.” I like this. It reminds me that we are all trying to find our way in the world, and it is our faith that guides us to what is most important.  Faith cannot dictate what we want, but it helps us wade through our mosh pit of desire to know what will lead us to an abundant life, and what leads to emptiness at best or harm at worst.