“If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you” (James 1:5).
I remember a wise, sensible older man in my old neighborhood that used to say: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I think he said this because he knew all too well the foibles of ordinary human beings—of which my fellow neighborhood kids certainly were. He would pull out this well-worn aphorism whenever we told him our big plans and why they wouldn’t work. He thought some of our ideas worth a try.
For many people, it is easier to sit around and say why something cannot be done rather than actually do something constructive. As they say, “talk is cheap.” The above quotation, from James 1:5, shares something of this wisdom. It seems to say that if we lack anything, then we should ask God about it. Clearly it is easy to sit around and lament our lot in life. However, God is our partner and we need to allow God into the parts of our life where and when challenges meet us. We must knock before someone can open the door. We must search before finding the objects of our search.
This fall is upon us. We, as a congregation, will find new challenges and new opportunities for ministry. Soon some of our big projects in our campaign “We Are Here for Good” will be complete and we will move to some new ones. Challenges, however, are frightening to those who want to play it safe. But with challenge comes occasions for growth. As we prepare for the tasks ahead in 2014 and beyond, I pray that you and I will continue to turn to God for wisdom. Maybe then we can, with the Apostle Paul, begin . . . “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13).