BY REV. DUANE D. LARSON - SPIRIT LAKE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
"What's at the top of your ladder?"
That question from a speaker made me think about what is most important in my life and how my dreams and desires impact the way I live. It was an eye-opening experience. Many years ago a mentor told me, "If you look at your calendar and your bank account you can clearly see what is most important in your life." … ouch!
"Someday," we say to ourselves, "we'll get our priorities straight."
Of course, as one author pointed out: "Someday is the enemy of the gift of today."
When you read the story of Jacob in the book of Genesis, it's clear that early in his life he had one desire, one purpose that stood at the top of his ladder – get ahead of Esau, his brother, and get the firstborn status he thought he deserved. No matter the cost. Jacob succeeds in doing just that, although he had to lie and deceive his blind father. That was just the cost of getting to the top of his ladder.
Then, in Genesis 28 something happens. God appears to Jacob in a dream and tells him that there is another way for him. A way that will not only make his life part of what God is doing in the world, but also allow his life to be an inspiration and blessing to others.
It is not a coincidence that God is at the top of the ladder in Jacob's dream. So, if Jacob is willing to change his life, make God the top of the ladder, this lying, conniving, usurper can become a blessing rather than a curse, an instrument of God's will and a guide for generations to come. That is powerful stuff.
Jacob marks this moment with a shrine and commits to changing his life. We can learn from Jacob. We may not be trying to steal our brother's birthright, but we do tend to place the wrong things at the top of our ladders. And our actions show it. Maybe it's time to rethink our direction in life, refocus our priorities and put God at the top of our ladders.
Don’t worry if you’ve made mistakes or gotten a lost, God specializes in reclamations projects.
Grace and Peace.