"The soul being so precious, and salvation so glorious, it is the highest point of prudence to make preparations for another world."
(Thomas Watson, 1666)
I’ll always remember the first time I read those words. My bookmark said that it was in September, 1994. I was feeling what is often called ’dry’, in respect to God. The demands of work, family and life, along with the absence of some healthy spiritual habits had taken its toil. I was tired.
So, I took a day off and drove up to the seminary, Gordon-Conwell, situated in the beautiful North Shore area of Massachusetts. I would take time to think, pray, listen, plan and just be still. Also, I would visit the bookstore.
Truthfully, I didn’t know how dry I was until I picked up Watson’s book, The Godly Man’s Picture, and read the first line of the introduction. Something about it suddenly resonated so powerfully that tears came to my eyes. (Okay, you just re-read those words from Watson and are thinking, "Are you kidding me? Sounds like an old Puritan to me. You had to be there.) I knew at once that I longed to know again the truth of what Watson said – that my soul was so precious, and that salvation was so glorious.
I knew where I was again – at a well, ready to drink. Sure, a little too dramatic and cheesy to write about it this way. But, there is something very reassuring when you find your way again. Don’t ever forget that.
This Sunday I will begin a sermon series, Knowing Where You Are. It is so easy to get lost, to take the wrong road, get totally distracted with the local scenery that you just don’t know where you are on the spiritual map. Sometimes a volcanic cloud may keep you stranded. And there are some very important places to be.
There are some places that are waiting for you. Reservations have been made. I’m going to talk about four of those places, starting with the beginning, where we start on the map. Some people at the Gathering are right at the beginning on their spiritual map. They may not even know it, but they sense that something is different.
I am excited about looking at some of the destinations that God has planned for us.
Would you know how to describe where you are in respect to your spiritual journey?
If so, where are you?