Photo: Highway 3
Lots of young people have asked me, “How do I find God’s direction for my life? How do I know God’s perfect will for me?”
My standard answer now is, “Put yourself in gear and get out of the driveway.”
I learned to drive on my Dad’s old Merc. It did not have power steering and sometimes it was ridiculously hard to turn the wheels on that thing when it was at a standstill. Sometimes I thought, in the process of learning to park that land-locked boat, it would have taken less effort to get out and push it sideways into a parking spot. Getting it back out of a tight spot was just as hard. It’s tough to steer a stationary vehicle. Just start moving. Sometimes God’s directions are simply, “Go. Move already.”
Like many people I have wanted to understand the eternal ramifications of every decision before I made it. What if I went to College A and the person I was supposed to marry went to College B -or Q or U. What if I missed God’s perfect will for my life because I took a job in Moose Jaw and destiny awaited in Tuktoyuktuk? What if it was God’s will for me to study Hebrew and I studied Greek? What if I missed my calling while I was on the phone talking to my friend about paint colours for the bathroom? To be honest I even hated not knowing which lane I needed to be in 200 km.s down the road.
Even after I learned to give God credit for being a little more flexible than I was. I stewed over things like travel plans, wanting to have a carefully thought out printed itinerary and reservations in place months before I packed far too much just-in-case stuff in my suitcase.
It may be a sign of how much work God has done on me that my idea of a vacation now is a blank calendar and an open road. This is what I have learned: God is creative and not reactive. He is relentlessly kind and seeks to communicate with us and show us how to become the people he created us to be. He is the God of endless possibilities. Destiny is not fate; you can mess it up and cause delay if you don’t pay attention, but neither is destiny a one-shot thing.
Was it God’s will for David to dally around with Bathsheba? Was adultery part of Plan A? No. Was God stymied by a horrible situation? No. In fact after David expressed his deep remorse and repented his and Bathsheba’s son became the next king, and God blessed him. God not only has a plan B but many more letters of the alphabet at his disposal.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says:
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track. (The Message paraphrase)
The more time we spend with God, the easier it is to hear his voice. Sometimes an inconvenient detour is exactly the direction he is leading us in. We may have everything planned out and can see our goal ahead when He says, “Chasm ahead. Now would be a good time to turn left.”
It’s never too late to change direction and follow Jesus Christ. Brilliant opportunities await.
For those willing to surrender their own agendas, it just gets better. It can be a wild ride sometimes, but I know who is crowned the winner at the end of this race. (I read the ending.)
Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace. The moment he hears, he’ll answer. Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he’ll keep your teacher alive and present among you. Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: “This is the right road. Walk down this road.” You’ll scrap your expensive and fashionable god-images. You’ll throw them in the trash as so much garbage, saying, “Good riddance!”