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Compass Corner: Summer 2018

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Compass Corner

Summer 2018

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Not long ago I saw this vanity plate (or something akin to it since I only had a few seconds to see it while driving) on the back of an ultra-cool looking red Corvette. This ‘vette had to be valued at around $70,000. I’m waiting at a stop light directly behind this all-American beast of a sports car, in my high-mileage and not-so-fancy SUV. Was I envious? No. But did I want to drive this sleek car? Of course!

The last time (and only time) I’ve ever driven a ‘vette was when my brother-in-law offered me to drive his shiny red Corvette when I was around 16 (yes, just got my license). It was a lot of fun to drive, and the cool factor was off the charts! But I pulled out in front of a car, pushed too hard on the gas pedal, and almost ended up going off the road. My ego was shot, but I managed to get this American icon back to him without a scratch. Lesson learned: Fast cars and inexperienced drivers are not a good mix!

But let me come back to the vanity plate. This encounter got me thinking about what the vanity plate was referring to—“Living the Dream.” It’s a phrase we have all heard. It generally means the person is pretty happy about his or her life. A good friend and I tease one another about “living the dream,” but neither of us drives a sleek sports car. He drives a family sedan and a well-worn SUV like mine. But we both are truly living the dream.

How about you? I hope you are. I want to share one key about how to live the dream.

You are writing your own “dream” story now—make sure it is a good one. Each of you has a story to tell and it is being written every day of your life. Yes, God has a “dream” for you. God and you together will write your story—if you seek Him in your life. Notice this in Jeremiah 29:11-13 (New International Version): “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

I find this truth so inspiring. God will help all of us write our dream story. But this means making God number one in your life (“seek me with all your heart”). The key to enjoying your youth is by seeking God and living His way of life each day as found in Ecclesiastes 12:1 (NIV): “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.”

I began to learn about God and the Church when I was in my mid-teens (about the time of my ride in the red ‘vette above). I am so thankful God opened up my mind to Him when He did, otherwise I would have been a mess as a teen. I know me. I did not have the Bible knowledge about God’s spiritual laws or the character to say no to things on my own. But God began to give me understanding when I read the Bible, plus the will to say “no” when I needed to and the desire to say “yes” to God. Was I perfect as a teen? Not at all. I made my share of mistakes, and had to learn the hard way at times, but God kept getting me back to the center of the road when I allowed Him to do the driving. How about you? Are you letting God do the driving in your life? Remember, God has a dream for you—and “plans to give you hope and a future.” God is there for you if you respond to Him.

Today, after all these years, I can truly say I am “living the dream.” This does not imply there have not been trials and stresses, but He has been there for me all the way down the road. God gets all the credit for this, but I had to move aside and let Him do the driving since My Father knows best, by far. Whether you drive a sleek ‘vette or a well-worn and not-so-fancy SUV, you and I need to let our loving God do the driving by letting Him be in charge of our lives and following His laws, since He alone knows all of the details about living the dream. See you down the road!

Until next time, your camp friend,

Steve Nutzman, editor | compasscheck@ucg.org