If I ask you to think back on a moment that changed your life, some of you will think about the day you lost your job, or the day a relationship ended, or the day a tragedy struck, and your life or your family was changed forever. Or maybe for you it would be your first day on the job. Maybe it was receiving that first pay cheque. Maybe it was wasting that first pay cheque. Maybe it was your first date. Maybe it was your first kiss.
It’s a little unnerving actually to think about it, but just one moment in time, or one day in your life can change the course of your life forever!
My Life Change.
When I was in my final years of school, my dad and I often discussed where I wanted to work. We looked at teachers college; we looked at a medical laboratory; we looked at laboratory work in metallurgy. We never ever discussed working in television. Then one day out of the blue, dad came home with a newspaper. He didn’t usually buy the paper, so this was a bit unusual. What was more unusual was, there was an advertisement in that paper for 5 jobs with the national television network as trainee technicians. I wasn’t sure what the job meant, but TV seemed to be a glamour place to work, so I applied. Within a few days I received instructions to attend the local Post office and do an entrance test. The test was set down for the following Saturday so I attended with a about 10 other young men from the town I lived in.
I sat the test and obviously did well, because I can trace my 26 years in the industry and my subsequent move to other work, back to that point in time, when my destiny was altered on a whim of my dad buying a newspaper. So there are moments in your life and mine in which our destiny is altered for the better or the worse by a momentary happening, by a whim, or momentary decision.
Have you ever wished that you had access to a time machine, that would make it possible for you to zoom into the days ahead, and see what the future might hold so you could always make the right decisions now? But, the truth is, I think if we could travel in time, most of us would want to go back and unsay something we wish we hadn’t said, undo something we wish we hadn’t done, or just do something differently the second time round. Most of us have regrets from the past we wish we could alter.
I want to go back!!
The bible says Hell is one place where people would give anything to go back and change a choice they made in life. Many there would love to relive a moment of opportunity to believe in Jesus. They once heard, they felt conviction, but other pressures won the day – embarrassment, worldliness, love of self, pride, (you name it), turned their hearts away from life, and they ended up dead in their sins. What a tragedy! If only they had a time machine and could relive those moments again.
Here’s the problem: there is no time machine! Life has a beginning and it moves relentlessly forward, one moment at a time, until it ends. There is no going back, there is no reliving of even a single moment.
Day by day, moment by moment, human life is used up, and not a single moment, can be relived. It is a fact of life, that a decision made today, can change the direction of your whole life profoundly. A single phone call, a chance meeting, a missed appointment, all have the potential to be truly life-changing in their implications – yet at the time may seem to be trivial.
In God We Trust.
I think that alone, is enough to make anyone want to put their life in God’s hands. He is the only one who really knows the future. He sees the end from the beginning. So thats just one reason why the most important decision you will ever make, is to trust your life into God’s hands.
The bible says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. “ Proverbs 3:5,6.
Theologians call God at work in the “incidentals” of life, the PROVIDENCE OF GOD. Providence means that God has not abandoned the world that he created, but rather works within that creation to manage all things according to the His own will. And I believe young people especially, need all the help they can get. The most profound questions and issues face them, at a time in life when they have almost no experience to assist them. Just one of many examples is choosing a career. It’s quite an awesome decision when you think about it. It’s not uncommon to find that people have invested years of their life in preparing for a career they don’t really like. I spoke to a girl this week who had just graduated from her four year teaching degree and had decided she didn’t ever want to be a teacher.
Even retired blokes need an ability to work out what outcomes will come from decisions they make today. Some people, despite their age and experience, do not seem to have worked out that, if they spend all the money for the rent today on something else, they wont have it to pay the rent tomorrow. I think we all need help to determine what is the best path for us. Some paths look good at the time but subsequently turn out to be a disaster.
We certainly all could use that time machine. But we don’t get to use one. How important then is it to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” He alone knows the future, and He alone knows what you were made for.
God is Always There.
So here is some good news. Whether you realise it or not, God is always there in the moment. You’ve probably heard the term that God is “omnipresent”. It means God is everywhere. More importantly, it means God is always here beside me. He’s always present with you. God is always in the middle of the moment, no matter what the moment looks like, no matter how discouraging or difficult. As many have discovered, He doesn’t always change the moment, but he can change the outcome. He will change your attitude to it. He doesn’t always stop the difficult things happening to us, but he shares our sorrow and our fear and our problems – if we let him.
A Bible College student once told the story of his time in college where his pregnant wife lost the child. He said he agonised over what had happened. After all he thought he was giving his best for God but God didn’t seem to notice. It took many years before he understood that God can use bad things for good. One night, he received a phone call from a sailor, who had just experiences the same thing he did in college. He said, “suddenly I realised, God was with me all along, and as God used me to help this man, I realised God can bring good out of a bad situation – even if it takes years!”
So this year, learn to trust God! Put the rest of the year into His hands by promising to follow His directions and trusting Him to bring good things out of bad situations. He’s not asking a lot – just asking you to trust Him despite your circumstances.