A couple of weeks ago, I had a meeting in a place that was new to me. I typed the address into my iPhone and let that digital voice lead me to my destination. When I left, I tapped home on my maps app so my digital guide could get me home. I was surprised to find out that I was going home via a different route. I’m not sure why my phone made the change. I don’t know if the traffic patterns changed or the second route was slightly quicker than the first or what. All I know is that I got where I needed to be by following the directions, even when they took me to a route I did not expect.
Life is like this. It seldom goes the way we plan. It’s filled with twists and turns and unexpected routes. We plan on going one way only to find ourselves headed in the opposite direction. Circumstances change. Stuff happens. Detours abound. Our direct route ends up looking like some obscure geometric design with a name no one can pronounce.
When life hits us with its inevitable route changes, we can respond in a number of ways. We can get agitated and lash out. We can pout and just pull over. We can stubbornly take control and try to forge our own way. Or, we can trust that God is guiding us and He knows more than we do.
The Bible tells us “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established” (Proverbs 16:2-3 ESV). It is far more productive for us to surrender to the guiding hands of a loving God than to defiantly insist on following our own directions. We do not know what lies ahead, but He does. He has far more insight to the productivity of His path and the peril of ours.
Years ago I was asked to take someone to the airport. As I dropped him off at his hotel room the day before, he asked me if I knew how to get there (this was before the days of smart phones and GPS). “I don’t,” I said, “but I’ll find out.” The next morning I picked him up and he told me he had gotten directions to the airport. When I told him I didn’t need them, he said to me “You’re a real man. Not only will you not ask for directions, you won’t follow them when you get them.”
Many of us are like that. We stubbornly hold onto what where we want to go in life despite the fact that God may be leading us in a different direction. Let go. Listen to His guidance. Surrender to His direction and commit your way to Him. He is far more knowledgeable and far more able than we are. He is the one that weighs our spirits and establishes our plans. We can trust Him to take us the right way.