I would like to know the eternal repercussions of every decision before I make it. I want to figure out every possible permutation and be prepared for it. (Maybe that explains my tendency to pack too much.) Change is not easy for those of us reluctant to let go of the past before we grab on to the future.
Sometimes, when we pay attention, we can hear the promptings of Holy Spirit, but then we want a complete itinerary -with an accompanying accurate weather report. Sometimes the only instruction He gives is, “Move. Get out of the driveway.”
Train engineers don’t need to worry about the myriad of options laying before them at every turn. It’s pretty much a matter of go, stop, pull over and rest and go again. They can trust that the tracks ahead of them will take them where they need to go and switches will be prepared for them. The train in this photo is on it way through the historic Crowsnest Pass. (That’s Crowsnest Mountain peaking around the corner there.) It makes provision for wheat and other commodities from the rich bread basket of the Canadian prairies to be shipped to the port on the Pacific Ocean. It’s path has been clearly laid. The train doesn’t need to forge new trails. It needs merely to start moving and follow the two lines of steel before it.
The story of Christ’s birth includes so many angelic interventions. It seems as if the information they gave was on a need-to-know basis. Different people had different parts of the story. In hindsight we can see the marvelous plan laid our from the beginning of time, but most people only had little bits of it to work with at the time. For some, the message was simply, “Go.” Joseph learned the importance of paying attention to God’s timing. His job was to protect the young woman who carried the most important message in the world. That’s why God chose a man who would listen and act on a message in a dream. He needed someone who knew how to trust.
Trustworthy people know how to trust.
When we trust God to lead us we can trust Him to have made a way for us before we get there. When He says go, we go. When He says stop, we stop. Good enough.
But first we need to leave the comforts of the familiar and move. Rise up. Go.
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. (Proverbs 3:5,6 The Message)