When I first started at Hope Community Church ten years ago, there was something I had a love/hate relationship with. I say love because there were many fun memories in conjunction with this thing. I say hate because it was often temperamental, sometimes not working quite the way I hoped it would.
What am I talking about? The item of my description could only be Hope’s old 1996 Dodge Van with a faded “Mema’s Childcare” sign on the side. Though the church wisely no longer owns this vehicle, it still has a certain place in some of our hearts. The lights on the dash were usually lit up like a Christmas tree. And the air conditioning only worked in the winter. But a notable feature when I first drove the van was the steering wheel, which is an important part of a car. I quickly found out that if I wanted to go straight, I needed to turn the steering wheel a few degrees. And if I did not aggressively grip the wheel, it would consistently veer to the side. Like I said, it was a pretty unforgettable feature.
Then one day, the van’s wheel was fixed … somewhat better! Whether the van’s steering wheel was adjusted or the wheels were realigned, the van drove straighter. Apparently, some part of the van needed to be recalibrated or realigned.
As I think about that old van, I also invite each of us into a process of recalibration as well. We are one week into a six-week journey through the 23rd Psalm. Pastor Nick set the table for us this past week as we began to feast on the impactful words of one of the most famous chapters of the Bible. As we read about the shepherd and all he has done to provide for us, I cannot help but think it will help recalibrate and realign our hearts towards the Father. This is especially an important invitation for us for many different reasons:
- Some of us have some wear and tear and need healing
- Some of us are pretty bent out of shape and need to be reminded of God’s strength
- Some of us are following voices of other masters and need to hear the Shepherd’s voice
- Some of us are hurting or anxious and need to experience healing, comfort or peace
- Some of us have been feeding on empty things and need nourishment from God’s Word
We have all been through a lot and as we continue in Psalm 23, I hope you accept the invitation to lay yourself at the feet of the Good Shepherd. I hope that you will experience a “recalibration” of your heart and through that, better understand your identity and purpose here on earth. It is a gift that we have to hear and receive these words from the Father. I pray you will receive them!