Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I’m not Lost, I’m Just Directionally Challenged

“A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How can anyone know his own way.” Proverbs 20:2
Great news for the directionally challenged, it’s OK to not know where you’re going! I recently read this verse in my quiet time and immediately related to it. For sometime I’ve been bugging God to tell me straight up what He wants me to do. Our move to Georgia several years ago has been great from a spiritual perspective, but otherwise a series of never ending challenges. I wonder did we make the right move, where am I supposed to be and what should I be doing? This verse brought some clarity to my thoughts.
In Joshua 3:3-4 the Israelites under the direction of Joshua prepared to cross the Jordan River and enter the Promised Land. Instructed to keep their eyes on the priests bearing the Ark, they followed wherever the priests led. Doing this they could, “know which way to go, since you have never been this way before” (Joshua 3:4).
Our sojourn here in northwest Georgia continues to be an educational experience for two Yankees transplanted into the Deep South. Besides cultural shock (Coke Cola, as opposed to Coca-Cola, “Darlin”, “Bless Your Heart”, "fixin to" and the War of Northern Aggression) our spiritual adventure is taking us places we’ve never been before, which is good. God said in Isaiah 55:8 that “your ways are not my ways”, and He wasn’t kidding. If someone had told me a few short years ago that I would reside in the South and do what I do, I would have asked what they were smoking. And yet, here I am in a place I never dreamed of living and working a business never on my life’s radar and somewhat uncomfortable with the mix.
I read so much I often forget authors and sources of information I find. The author (unknown to me now) of an article (title…who knows) I recently saw suggested God continually works differently in our lives on purpose. He knows that change keeps our sensitivity to the unusual sharp. Repetition dulls awareness because routine is commonplace, predictable. I believe God enjoys messing with us, not in a mean or malicious way. He constantly challenges our logical approach with His out of the box thinking. Who else coats a blind man’s eyes with mud, making him double blind and sends him off to wash up? This man hadn’t asked to be healed. Minding his own business, his condition piqued the disciples’ curiosity as they passed by. Whose fault was this they asked Jesus, the man or his parents? “Neither” was His response. Jesus could have kept on walking ignoring the man’s condition. He could have spoken one word and the man’s sight would be restored, the logical solution. Slapping mud on his eyes and sending him to “blindly” walk to the Pool of Siloam, forced a decision of faith. Did the man wish to stay blind or look foolish for a chance to be healed?
Almost thirty years ago as we prepared to leave Haiti, I asked the Lord for faith like Abraham. Abram packed up his family and left his hometown, following wherever God led. The “Cecil B. DeMille” version of my faith journey would include open doors, smooth sailing, level paths and bright neon signs pointing the way….not! I think God still chuckles remembering my prayer He answered when I didn’t know what I was asking for. I gave Him the open door and He’s been honoring my request ever since.
            Some of you like me grapple with a life not going according to plan. Things fall out of and not into place. Circumstances stink sometimes. Can this be Proverbs 20:2 actualizing in our lives? God takes us through unfamiliar territory whether it’s part of His original plan or an effort to get us back on track. Either way being “lost” is by His design. Giving us all the details up front requires no faith on our part and faith is what pleases Him. We probably wouldn’t believer Him if He told us. Zacharias, John the Baptist’s father received good news via an angelic messenger that fatherhood was in his future. He responded, “No way, Jose!” OK, those weren’t his exact words, but the sentiment is the same. Zacharias spent the next nine months dumbstruck, unable to utter any words of doubt and unbelief that could hinder God’s plans.
            For me it boils down to this. Do I want to enjoy the journey, see new sights and experience new things? Or, do I wish to spend time in a blindness created by my desire to see and understand everything upfront? It’s a daily decision, some days easier than others. If I’m wise, I’ll trust any unfamiliar terrain is God’s course to get me where I need to be. In that case, I’m not lost, I’m just directionally challenged.

1 comment:

  1. Learning to RELAX and enter His REST as I journey while letting God direct is my challenge. I'm not lost either ---yes, I am directionally challenged ----- and I am so thankful I can trust HIM one day at a time.