We left Sun City with every intention of returning about a month later. We had in mind the basic route we would cover. In fact, we did a print out of a map to give clear indication of our various destinations. Things went well until… Have you ever used a map and discovered later that it was inaccurate? I did! The instructions said, “left”, but something in me said, “right”. I went “left”, only to discover that I should have gone “right”. It was disconcerting to discover that the map was wrong, but good to know that we discovered the inaccuracy shortly and were able to counteract our instructions.
Our friends had told us: “When you are an hour or so from our house, call and with our instructions, you will be able to cut 20 minutes off of your travel time.” I listened and that rural setting became quite simple, even with my misgivings.
A gentleman once called me to correct a problem he had encountered. After studying the maps extensively, I called him back and said: “Your street is not on any of my maps.” He gave me directions and when I arrived at his home, his greeting was something like this: “You are right! My street does not exist according to the area maps.” I inserted it into my maps.
In our travels this trip, my wife and I found ourselves changing our minds frequently about where we would go next. It was fun, but at times, confusing. However, in most cases, we were able to avoid “unexpected side tours”.
Most of us like to plan our lives a long way in advance. We endeavor to “plot our course” and like to feel that, when we pursue our plans, at the end of life things will be as we anticipated. However, there are always interruptions of one type or another. My initial plans after finishing College were to enter the pastorate to gain experience that would enable me to become an evangelist. God had other plans! Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, we found ourselves in multiple areas of service that we never contemplated. Our current ministry developed in much the same manner. Always, we have been able to look back and see God mapping our course in contrast to our jumping on some bandwagon and getting detours that meant the map was incorrect or that we were moving in a self- centered direction.
All of this is the result of reflecting on some precious portions of God’s Word…
“…for Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.” (Psalm 31:3) “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel (guide) you with My eye upon you.” (Psalm 32:8) “…He will guide us until death.” (Psalm 48:14) That’s a precious reality!