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Where's the map?

My children used to watch a TV show called Dora the Explorer. I have no idea whether it is still around, probably not. When I had small children I thought I would never lost track of children's TV shows, but I did. Anyway, each episode there was a problem which Dora had to fix, all the while avoiding "Sniper", a sneaky fox, intent on disrupting her mission.

To get to where she needed to go Dora has a magic map which lived in her backpack. There was a song which went with finding the map, the words where simple, "Where's the map" repeated a few times to a memorable little tune. In a world in which the words "uncharted territory" are something we hear from all sides, we might find ourselves wanting a magic map. We negotiate all sorts of new things in our lives, but usually there is someone around who has done something which connects - getting married, starting a new job, having a family.

Everyone flying by the seat of their pants is unsettling and, although it is true, I don't think it is helpful to draw direct parallels between the uncharted territory God's people have often entered and this. However, what we can learn from the Biblical experience is that fear breeds anger and anger takes a hold of sanity and good judgement and erodes it.

There is nothing wrong with emotion, with anger and fear and anxiety, those are our human lot. Start reading the Psalms, you will find there every aspect of human experience - including rage, something which we often soften by missing out verses which mention a belief in God's vengeful action. Psalm 58, for example, has some horrible requests of God, although 58:8 makes me smile,

"Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime;"

My point is having and appropriately expressing our emotions, allowing our inner voice is important. Dora always saw Sniper, acknowledged him but then figured out a way to move on with her mission. I will end with Psalm 27:1 - the rest of the Psalm is linked here.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation;    whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life;    of whom shall I be afraid?"

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