From the Editor

TRAVELING GODWARD

Michael L. Sherer

Michael L. Sherer

On the morning after Ash Wednesday I found myself on an urban interstate highway that had suddenly become a parking lot. I took the nearest exit and headed for an alternate route on the way to my office in the Minnesota Church Center.

At the very first intersection, after leaving I-35W, I came to the corner of Industrial Highway and Godward Street. I looked around. There was a lot of industrial activity, but it was difficult to determine whether anybody was traveling Godward. (In fact, Industrial was a busy street, but Godward was deserted.)

Why would anybody name a street “Godward”? Could it be the name of a person? Was it somebody’s idea of a joke? Or was it, perhaps, named by a businessman who wanted to make a theological statement?

Whatever the answer, I found myself thinking about that street sign for the rest of the day. (I also jotted down the name, so I’d remember to refer to it in this column.)
Sometimes I’m not sure whether I’m traveling forward or backward. Every evening, when I climb into bed, I ask myself, and the Lord to whom I’m speaking just then, whether I spent the day traveling Godward.

Now I know there’s a street (only about a dozen blocks from Luther Seminary, as it turns out) that can remind me to think about that. Maybe I should drive that alternate route more often.

Lent is a great time to think about traveling Godward. Here’s my Lenten checklist, reviewed daily, to help me determine whether I’ve taken the right street:

* Did anybody’s life improve today because of something I did?

* Did I move closer to God today, or farther away?

* Did I think today about the needs of at least one person with less influence, advantage, and opportunity than I have?

* Did I become today more nearly the person God intended me to be?

Godward Street doesn’t appear on my Twin Cities map. I wonder if that’s because not many are looking for it.