If you go into Pastor Bud’s office, turn right and take a look at all the cartoons and pictures he has on the wall, you’ll notice one particular one showing two men walking with grass around them and mountains in the background. This picture is actually from the movie “Lord of the Rings” and is a picture of two of the many heroes of that story – Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins. Also in the picture is the quote that goes something like this – “All those who wander are not always lost…”. This has particular meaning when it comes to Samwise and Frodo because for much of the movie they are wandering towards a place they’ve never been but yet they know what their mission is and are keen on completing it. So, even though they may wander because of their mission, they never really lost their goal.
We can also see this story in the Bible. For 40 years the Hebrews wandered in “The Desert” as they made their way to The Promise Land. Even though the Hebrews were distracted and faced many trials and errors on their journey, they continued their journey to The Promise Land and eventually made it (largely due to God’s help and aid).
I bet that many of us have felt that way before. As though God wants us to do or go somewhere important but as soon as we start on our journey, all we find is desert – a barren wasteland that didn’t look how we expected. As with many things in our life, things do not always go the way we want or expected and that’s where we meet these deserts. Just because we’ve reached a desert doesn’t mean the journey is over. The journey continues on! The good news is that we are not alone in our adventure. We are often times accompanied by many others, and of course, God is always guiding our way.
Even with God with us, that does not mean our journey will be perfect or without its troubles. Having God with us does give us hope and direction despite the difficulties. This hope given by this fact, gives us the strength and vision to move forward and to keep our eyes on the goal no matter what that goal may be. Ultimately, it’s to live a life in the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is also to love God and love others as ourselves.
As we wander in life, we may ask if we’re going the right direction and if God is even with us. I’m sure that’s exactly what Jesus may have felt as he pleaded with his father to allow death to pass from him. At the end though, God’s mercies and grace shown true and both Jesus and the people of Israel accomplished feats and miracles that still affect our lives every day. So, even as we wander, do not feel lost. Even when you’re down do not lose hope – God is always there listening, guiding and lighting every step on our way. Amen.