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Lawrence Peter Berra – aka “Yogi” – was not only an American baseball legend, but he was also well known for his ability to turn a phrase. Over time, these quotes became known as “Yogi-isms”. Here is one:
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” Yogi Berra
We have just met to share information regarding doctrinal changes in the Presbyterian Church in Canada. We discussed a Hybrid course of action that considers both “Stay and Restructure” and “Leave”, so we can be best prepared for the future. These are courses that the Elders believe are the best for the congregation as a whole. If you have questions, please, please ask any one of the Elders.
As a result of the doctrinal changes approved at GA2021, we have been presented with “a fork in the road” and we have no choice but to “take it”. The big question now is: which fork do we take? What is important to understand here is that “we” means each and every one of us.
So how do we make this kind of decision?
Each of us has a different approach to problem solving, and by all means use it. As you begin, allow me to suggest a few things someone faced with a large decision might wish to think about.
“5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Consider drawing upon the wisdom of God instead of depending on ourselves, or what we hear from others. I find the book of Proverbs to be a great starting place in the search for wisdom and understanding. But don’t just take my word for it. James – whose book has been central to our sermons for the past several weeks – tells us:
“5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 (NIV)
Research what the Bible has to say about the decision that needs to be made. Consider what man has to say about the same issue. Do they agree; or is there a conflict? God’s word allows us to gain understanding and wisdom, true biblical guidance – it is never self-serving. Read with an open mind, make notes and pray. Trust and seek God’s leading, and wait patiently for His direction. When you have reached your decision, be sensitive to those who may be impacted by this decision.
While our personal courses of action are not limited to those outlined by the Elders, ultimately you and I must make a very important, Biblical, and personal decision. Important, because it will affect ourselves and those around us; Biblical, because the Bible is at the centre of issue; and Personal, because it ultimately boils down to what you believe the Bible says to you.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7: 1-2 (NIV)
Your perspective and ultimate decision may be different from mine; and you know what? I will respect your decision and I pray that you will do the same. In the end, it is God who will make the final judgement. Let us not get into the “I’m right and you’re wrong argument” – we have journeyed far too long together for that – let us simply bless each other as we take that fork and wish each other well on our new journey. Make it “Fare thee well” and not “Good-bye”; or as my good friends in Virginia are wont to say, “Y’all come back now, ya hear!”
“10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God...” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)