Transformational U-turns

By Carole Walker of Lakeland, Florida, USA

He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  Isaiah 2:4

While riding with my sister on my first trip to Florida, she made a sudden U-turn. I instantly said, “I sure hope there aren’t any police officers around.” She calmly told me that U-turns usually are allowed in Florida. I thought back to a beautiful sampler that she gave me many years ago that says, “God Allows U-turns.”

To me both of these represent experiences in life, the turns that must be taken en route to a final destination. Our routes along life’s journey may have many turns, distractions, and troubles. Our gracious Creator watches over us at all times. Many times we go down an unsuitable road, and God may even carry us for a time.

The scriptures talk about beating swords into plowshares—turning instruments of war into tools of the garden. The direction, mission, and purpose of the weapon take a U-turn. The instrument has been transformed and will have a new life of nurture and service.

Watch for opportunities to make a U-turn to find the path of discipleship, the path of peace.

Prayer for Peace:

Guiding God, thank you for allowing U-turns in our lives. Thank you for your grace, which allows us to get on your path. Thank you for opportunities to turn around and get on the path to peace.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Honoring the Worth of All Persons

Each day this week read Psalm 139:13–18. After each reading sit quietly and let the deep meaning of the words sink into your mind, heart, and body. Imagine God watching you grow in your mother’s womb. What thoughts and feelings do you have about being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)?

Sense the intimate knowledge God has of you and every child ever born. Ask God for an awareness of the sacred worth of each person on the planet. Weep with God over the soul-wounding forces and events that rob people of dignity and worth. How are you being invited to notice, protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of all God’s beloved people today? Pray for God’s compassion.

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will study, learn, and follow you.

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