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THE WEIRS TIMES & THE COCHECO TIMES, Thursday, March 15, 2012


by Rev. Victoria Wood Parrish Contributing Writer

At Christmas, I was giv-

en my first (and only!) GPS, to use when I made some of my long trips. Well, change is difficult, so until February, I con- tinued to rely on Yahoo maps and the atlas on the back seat of the car. Then the next long trip

came. Half way there, I decided to activate the GPS. It was great having someone in the car talk- ing to me, even if the only thing she said was “Turn right in 800 yards!” Then I hit the New Jer-

sey traffic. With exits every few feet (it seemed), how would I know which one to take? Would I have enough warning from my “voice?” I panicked. I turned off early, not trusting the mechani- cal device – and then the voice, “Turn around when you can…” I made so many wrong turns that the GSP finally gave me an overhead view with all my wrong attempts marked in red; and the voice re- peated, “Turn around when you can…” I finally had to pull off and take a breather before I started back. There is a lot more to the story, but I did get to the destination, and I got home. Isn’t that like our hu- man lives? We have a destination

and God is our GPS, giv- ing us directions through scripture, study, prayer, counsel ing and other Christians on how to reach the end – how to live our lives to that we might be with God forever. But we turn at the wrong

place, make the wrong de- cisions, and we are lost. God keeps calling, “Turn around.” (That is what re- pent means – turn around so you can get back in


the right direction with God.) Then, at the end, we hope to hear the voice saying, “You have reached your destination.” We are home with God. This is the season of

the church year called Lent. We remember the 40 days Jesus spent in the ministry struggling with his personal demons and conquering them, preparing for a ministry that would lead to death – and later resurrection - turning from the life as a carpenter to the life as a savior. He was on his journey, guided by God. In Lent, Christians also

are on a journey, evaluat- ing where we are in life and where we want to go. While we usually think of this as a spiritual journey, everything we do will also affect our physical and mortal lives as we make our choices. Sometimes we need to repent and turn around as we realize we have gotten away from God’s road and turned, untrusting, onto our own roads. Sometimes we just need to pull off and take a breather, getting away from the stresses of life that have gotten between us and God. Sometimes we need to “recalculate”

(as some GPS say) and find a new goal or a new plan. We do not have to stay

on a route which sepa- rates us from God and all of God’s plans for us. Lent is a time for going home – To God.

Rev. Victoria Wood Par-

rish is the pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Gilford, NH, located on Route 11-A. It

is a congregation of open hearts, open minds, and open doors. We invite you to worship with us on Sundays at 10:30 AM. Children’s activities and nursery are available dur- ing the 10:30 morning wor- ship. We also invite you to the United Methodist Church in the Weirs, 35 Tower St., which worships at 10:00 AM. There are also many other local con- gregations who would wel- come you to worship.


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Compete in the 8th Annual

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