Dear Friends:
     Since celebrating a milestone birthday last month, I have had many memories from past birthdays come to my mind. I suppose that happens at this stage of life. On my sixth birthday I learned to water ski on Summersville Lake. Growing up on the lake, it was not uncommon to learn at an early age. I can still see my mother and father giving me the instructions, as I floated nervously behind the boat. I was barely keeping the skis under control, as I waited for the big pull that would lift me from the water. My father’s voice rang out over the hum of the motor, “Okay, you’re in the right position, now lean forward, keep your arms straight, and hold on. I’ll do the rest from here!” Sure enough after a few tries, it happened. Up I came out of the water and I was skimming across the water, having the time of my life.
     My earthly father has now gone to be with my heavenly Father, but his words now echo in my heart as I journey along the way of life. When I encounter new situations; different experiences; unfamiliar endeavors; or even unexpected circumstances, I look to my heavenly Father for the strength and encouragement that I need. More times than I can count, His Word to me has been, “Look, you’re in the right place, now lean forward and hold on. I’ll do the rest from here.”
All of us encounter the unfamiliar in life. Sometimes it is a new and exciting opportunity. Other times it is a difficult time that we did not foresee. When the new and unexpected comes our way, how do we respond? Some may withdraw and isolate, because life doesn’t seem to be going their way. Others seem to find a way forward regardless of circumstances. When change happens in your life, how do you respond? Some fall away or move backwards, because it was not anticipated. Others find a way to lean into the change, make the adjustments, and keep moving. What makes the difference when these things come our way? Our faith in Christ and our walk with the Lord makes all the difference.
     Every week at Bridgeport United Methodist Church we are leaning forward into the future that God has prepared for us. We are here to help one another to “lean on the everlasting arms” of our God and to trust Him to move us ahead. Yes, change will come. Yes, unexpected turns and trials will be part of our life journey. Yes, new experiences and different terrain will be encountered in living. But, here, in this place and in the midst of our living as God’s people, if we seek God’s face and listen, we can hear him saying to us, “You’re in the right place, now lean forward and hold on.” If we do this we can trust that God will do the rest! What a promise!
     I pray today for you to experience the truth of this in your own life. See you in church.

In Christ,
Ken A. Ramsey

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