I have always loved to wander. I am naturally curious. Seeing life from different angles is fascinating and helpful for me to understand my place in the midst of the jumble of life that surrounds me. When I was four I pedaled my metal tractor several miles from home to explore the local grocery store. (My wife STILL doesn't like to take me to the grocery store.) I don't blame her. I get lost in my ponderings.
Every summer for several days I get on one of my motorcycles and go on what I call the "I'll Know When I get there" ride. I never know from mile to mile exactly where I am going except that I am going. And it is in the going that I find the stuff that matters.
Faith in God is like this. We need to be willing to explore and find out how much BIGGER life is than the routines that so easily bind us. The Bible is the best map I know. You can spread it out and discover that the story is endless and that, lo and behold, it is yourstory; the story of you and God and the world and how much God wants us to know him. That's why God came in person in Jesus Christ; to invite us to know him and trust him and love him and be loved by him.
But somehow I think we stop exploring, (if we ever really began) and we think we know all there is to know about our lives. I don't want this to happen. I need God to lift me up and show me life from the angle of forever instead of my limited (and broken) view. And this happens when I gather with other Christian travelers to explore what God wants to do in and through my life. Other Christians, the body of Christ, are my mile markers. They show me where I am and point me to where I need to be even and especially when I may think I need to be somewhere else.
Did you know that God is particularly fond of you? God is. And God knows wherever we wander. In the classic play "Our Town" Rebecca tells her brother of a letter sent to a friend by their minister that was addressed to the town, the county, New Hampshire, The United States of America; Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; the Earth; the Solar System; the Universe; the Mind of God - that's what it said on the envelope.
God knows where we are and came in person in Jesus Christ to lead us to where we need to be forever. In the closing scene of "Our Town" Emily asks, "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it - every, every minute?" And the stage manger replies, "No - saints and poets, maybe they do some."
But the Good News is that God wants us to know what our lives are for "every, every minute". Traveling in faith together every, every, worship day, every morning and night TOGETHER as God's people is how we will realize life. Isn't it time we all explore this more?
• The Rev. Bruce Kochsmeier is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Carson City.