CHURCH NOTES: Changing direction

With Captain Jan Howlin from Wokingham Salvation Army

How do we know we are on the right path and following God’s plan for us?

I am not a huge fan of exercise, I can often be found driving round and round the supermarket car park looking for a space nearest the door.

My lovely team mates at The Salvation Army put a step counter app on my phone is the hope that it would encourage me to move, which to some extent it has.

In my car I have a sat nav, which I’ve called Keith, and he keeps me on the right path and is a constant companion on my travels to unknown lands like Reading.

How have you got to the place you are now in your life? Can you look back and see the path you have gone down, are there many twists and turns or even dead ends where you have had to do a U-turn?

How can we be sure we are on the right path for us, the one God has planned? In my experience it’s not that easy, especially if you know what and where you are supposed to be going but you really don’t want to go. You feel it’s right, people around you confirm it’s right, the Bible tells you its right and yet you tell yourself, not now, I need to do this first, what if this happens or so and so needs me.

I’ve used all of these excuses so often and I’m sure you have too to some extent. However, God understands and will lead us back onto His path no matter how far we have strayed.

Many of my friends, who I’ve met through our Community Outreach programme, have been taken down paths that no one should ever have to go, finding themselves lost, confused, abused and without hope and yet God has brought them into our family where they can find love, compassion, self-worth, respect and, maybe one day, God.

It’s sometimes a long, scary and painful journey back into a life with hope in it, but with a little help and a lot of love it can be achieved.

The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I would encourage you to look at the path you are on, it’s never too late to follow God’s will for you and to change direction.

God wants only the best for each of us and to enable us to be the very best we can be just where we are.

Captain Jan Howlin from Wokingham Salvation Army on behalf of Churches Together in Wokingham

Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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