The Path

I don’t like to be lost. I am so thankful for technology and GPS on phones and in cars. Now that I travel more, sometimes alone, I have a real peace, when I am driving, knowing that I am going in the right direction because I have modern technology at my fingertips.

I have been lost just a handful of times in my life and each time was a miserable experience. I felt helpless and very vulnerable…having to depend on strangers to help me navigate back to my intended path. (Most of these “lost” times were before the age of cell phones!) I was late to my destination most of the time and a few times it cost me something! Time, for sure, and missed opportunities.

Just follow me for a minute. Suppose I were going to travel to Charleston, SC from Columbia. I would need to get on I-26….but what if I headed North instead of South? I would be on the “right road” but I would just be headed in the wrong direction! Just suppose, as I headed out…on I-26 thinking I was headed for Charleston, but an hour or so later found myself 10 miles outside of Spartanburg, SC. I would have to do a “turn around” and backtrack 80 miles just to get back to Columbia. Then I would still have another 100 miles to get to Charleston, my intended path.

Many times in life we can be on the “right road” but we can be traveling in the “wrong” direction. The one thing to consider when we find ourselves in that place….is that there may not be a possible instant fix. We have to allow for some time to make the turn around. It will take more time now to get to the desired destination. We must recognize and allow for all the time it took, and the miles that we went out of the way, to go in the wrong direction.

I love God. He has the perfect GPS. HE has a Perfect Path. It is me/you/us who can be on the “right road” and somehow we can, for multiple reasons, head in the wrong direction. Heading “North” when we should have headed “South”. Our expectations, when we realize we are headed in the “wrong direction,” have to be managed by the fact that there needs to be a “time” allowance factored into getting us to our original intended place. Many times we don’t factor
this in. Our unrealistic expectations leave us feeling impatient, frustrated and having a “Genie in a bottle” attitude toward God, wanting Him to fix our mistake on our time frame!

Most of the time it doesn’t work like that. Why? Because of the “reaping and sowing” principle found in scripture. I don’t always know, but from my own personal experience, the time and attention I have had to give to even get back to my original starting point has been time that God has used to teach me, grow me, strengthen me. Yes, it has been the natural consequence of “my error” that brought on the self-inflicted punishment.

There are several stories in the Bible of people heading in the wrong direction or not seeking direction. Look at how scripture describes it:

Isaiah 30:1-2, “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the Lord, “who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my direction,…” Nothing like being a stubborn child.

Isaiah 47:15, “…they wander about, each in his own direction; there is no one to save you.” No Genies available.

WE all need to understand…DIRECTION, NOT intention—DETERMINES our DESTINATION. We all need to continually examine the path we are on and understand–our direction trumps our intentions, dreams, goals, wishes or wants. I wanted to go to Charleston, but my direction “North” led me not only to the WRONG destination but further away from where I wanted to be!

I love how Andy Stanley encourages us to evaluate our lives and look in the “rearview mirror” of where we are currently with an open hand and heart. Take an honest look with a Holy God who will give us “perfect direction” which leads to His intended and created “destination” and what I love to call our “significance” for life.

WE all have been created to be “significant” in God’s plan. Andy states, “Looking ahead we are often deceived into thinking that life is a series of unrelated decisions, and somehow we will end up where we want to be simply by force or will or luck. Or as I’ve heard many people say, ‘It’ll work out somehow.’ But if you can see a path in the rearview mirror that reflects where you’ve been and explains where you are, then there must be a path ahead of you as well. A path that, like all paths, has a specific and often predictable destination. Which leads us to knowing that direction–not our intentions–determines our destination…”

Andy has written a whole book on this topic entitled, “The Principle of the Path”. I recommend this book from my library of ALL TIME FAVORITE books. The time and insight he has put into going deeper than this post on making sure of and constantly gauging the “direction” of our life. It unpacks in a detailed way how to navigate and live out God’s created destination for our lives. It applies to all people.

My intent with this post…is for you to pray and open your heart to God and take a look at where you are in life. PULL OVER. Take some time to examine where you are and the path you are traveling on…

Are you headed in the “right” direction???
Are your choices…that you are currently making, wise, healthy choices?
Are they ones that will add up the “Miles” in your life to take you to a positive and desired “destination”?

Realize, you may be traveling on the “right road” but headed in the wrong direction. Not only will you not reach the RIGHT DESTINATION….YOU MAY BE TRAVELING MILES AWAY from where you should be.

Are you wasting or losing time?
Are you missing opportunities that God may have for you?

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

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