Last night Christy and I engaged in an adventure.  Not the kind of adventure anyone would be excited about.  For several hours, we searched the house for a missing remote control for a toy.  We followed each other, looking in every room of the house, every closet, every cabinet.  We determined when the thing was last sen.  We interviewed witnesses (James, Miles, and Linus), none of whom were helpful.  Like Columbo or the cops on Law and Order, we had a mystery to solve.  When we were just about ready to file for divorce, Linus came to me, holding the thing in his hand.  Excited and joyful, I asked him to show me where he found the blasted thing.  He pointed to a spot right in the middle of Miles' bedroom floor.  Case closed. 

Each of us is on a journey of exploration.  We are all searching for something-- really, the same thing.  A few of us think we're fairly close to figuring out the mystery; others are too self conscious to take the first steps in working the case.  The great majority of us are out there, trying to figure out this whole mystery of life thing.  This Sunday we'll continue on that journey in a few special ways.  A dozen or so (I've lost count by now) 3rd graders will receive their Bibles from PUMC (please, if you have a 3rd grader and you haven't told me-- it's too late to get one by Sunday.  Trust me, I'm on Cokesbury's list as it is!  Let me know and we'll get you one later).  As I do every year, I'll show the kids my 3rd grade Bible I received from the Fellowship Class of First UMC Bay City, in 1979.  The inside cover says, "Look to this book for guidance."  In other words: Along your journey of life, stop here for some clues.

This Sunday we'll also bless the backpacks of our children before they start school Monday.  This is a symbolic way of assuring the kids as they go through those doors they do not do it alone.  Don't forget: all kids bring their backpacks!  For those who attend at 8:30, we'll bless them there too.  Thanks to Stacey Heischman for coordinating everything!  I know deep, deep down James loves school.  On the outside he's grumpy about going back, and waking him up Monday will be a nightmare!  Echoing his big brother's grief, Miles is also not excited; but please: if any kid was ready for Kindergarten-- it's him.  Which makes me think of his teacher-- is she ready for Miles?  Yes, we'll pray for our teachers Sunday too.  Have a great year, everyone!

Reading from my 3rd grade Bible: "Make me know thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.  Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long" (Psalm 25:4-5).  Each of us is on a journey, and we seek God's direction for it.  Sometimes the path is much, much longer than we expected.  Sometimes the search is frustrating.  Sometimes we lose patience.  But as the women at the mini-retreat last weekend sang, "I once was lost, but now I am found."  The journey does lead somewhere.  Along the way, look to God's Word for guidance.  Listen for the encouragement and support of others.  Help someone else find their way.  Seek God in all things.  And out of nowhere, at a time and place least expected, it will happen-- remember to give thanks!  The toy remote will magically appear, sometimes in the hands of a fellow traveler.

Now: where did I leave the TV remote?

See you along the path!