My beloved and I were out of town last week for some R & R. He has a GPS practically built into his brain so I never pay attention to the way we go anywhere. I never know the road numbers or routes because I know he knows the way. (I need directions that include a big barn or a McDonalds.) On our way back home, we took small back roads because we weren’t on a schedule.
We passed a town named “Morven.” I blurted out, “I love you ‘Morven’ I used to!” Then I started singing songs substituting the word “Morven” for other things. (It’s what I do.) He laughed.
We drove on for a few miles when he began to slow down. “You know, I don’t think I ever remember a place called Morven.” “Me, either!” I realized. He pulled to the side of the road. “I need to re-think this,” he mumbled. Out came the phone. I clicked on the Maps app.
We were in a beautiful, rural area of North Carolina but it felt wrong. It was unfamiliar and gave my beloved a sense that we were not on the right path. We were just barely off course. An assessment was made and we returned to the right road. We both smiled. It felt good knowing we were going in the right direction.
In John 16, Jesus was soon to go back to heaven-to stay. He tried to help His disciples prepare for that time, speaking of things they did not understand. In verse 12, He shared that He had more to tell them than they could bear at that time.
I try to picture the scene. These were Jesus’ flesh and blood best buds, His posse, His brothers from another mother. They had seen life-changing, jaw-dropping miracles as they walked with Him each day. Now, after seeing Him crucified, buried, and risen from the dead, He was telling them He was leaving again. AGAIN? For real?! I get that whole “more than you can bear” part!
“It’s for your good that I am going away,” Jesus told them in John 16:7, “Unless I go away, the Advocate (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” As usual, He was thinking of what was best.
Then, Jesus declared, “But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will lead you into all truth…”
The Holy Spirit still works in many ways: giving wisdom to speak (Acts 6:10), power to speak (Acts 1:8), direction for ministry/evangelism (Acts 8:29), encourages (Acts 9:31), and re-directs paths (Acts 16:6).
Through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we also know when we are on a wrong spiritual path. We do know it, feeling it in our bones. That’s the time to stop, assess where we are and where we need to be. Through prayer and God’s Word, He can show us the road to take. There is peace that comes in knowing we are on the right path!
“Morven” I can describe!
Dawn Reed is a newspaper columnist and pastor's wife in Prestonsburg. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org