June 24

by Jim Guise

The Right Direction

Luke 2:49

There are a lot of words that are important to us. Faith, Hope, Love, Family are but a few. I have often told my children and grandchildren that one of the most important words that they will ever learn is next.

Next is so important because it keeps us pointed in the right direction. When we think about our life, we tend to think cyclically, but in fact, our life is linear. Our life has a beginning a middle and an end, and as much as we would like to change that, we can’t.

Sometimes we find ourselves daydreaming. We think of all the things that we would like to do or should have done and pretend that our life is more than it really is. There is really nothing wrong with daydreaming to a point. In fact, there are studies that show that a rich fantasy life can help with our actual life, but after the fantasies end, we find ourselves right back where we started… we find ourselves in our linear lives.

What do I mean by that? Well, if we begin our daydreaming at 12 noon, and daydream until 1 PM, everything have we thought about in that hour is gone, and we’re right back to our everyday lives.

Over the last several weeks we have all had to contend with a quarantine. I don’t know about you, but my fantasy life has a grown quite a bit during this time. My fantasy life has sometimes gotten so out-of-control that I have had to remind myself about next.

The “next” concept may seem limiting.  After all, when we live in a fantasy world, everything can be what we want it to be, but that isn’t reality.  Reality can seem to be limiting, and cause us to retreat into our fantasy world, but that is a trap we build for ourselves.  Our real lives can only be completely enjoyed, and bring us true joy when we accept and understand the next concept.

If you want a great example of the next concept applied to a life, just look at Jesus.  Everything we read about Him shows He had a purpose, and that He knew where He was going.  He didn’t let anything get in His way….He kept his eye on the prize.  Even when He was a young boy He kept Himself pointed in the right direction.  When we see Him in the temple at 12 years old talking to the elders, He amazed them, and when His mother and father asked why He caused them to worry, He said, “Don’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business?”. 

Jesus wasn’t being disrespectful, He was thinking about His next, and He continued to think about His next every day of his life.  His focus on His next is what allowed Him to choose and teach His disciples, stand-up to the Jewish and Roman leaders, feed and heal the sick and poor, and speak the good news throughout the world in which He lived.

Jesus’ next took Him to the cross, and without that next, all of our nexts would have no meaning. Jesus kept his eye on the goal, always considering His next, and that is what we should do.

Through Jesus’ death, resurrection, the final steps in His journey of nexts, we have eternal life…..and that is a next that we can look forward too.



Dear Heavenly Father,

Help us to understand the gift of our life.  Let us embrace our purpose, and keep us on the path that You have chosen for us.  Let us accept Your direction, and when we do, prepare us for the heights to which we will rise.  For only through Your guidance can we experience true happiness and reach our true potential.

In Jesus’ name,


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