I drove through the first few decades of my life in reverse gear.
During those years that I drove in reverse, the view I saw through the windshield was not the place where I was heading, but the place where I ended up.
Then one day I found myself in the middle of nowhere. As I surveyed the unfolding scenery through my windshield, I saw that it was unlikely that I would happen upon a happy destination unless I changed course. So, I pulled over to the side of the road and gave serious thought to the question, “How did I end up here?” I also reflected on my approach to the road trip of my life, and I uncovered some critical errors that needed immediate correction..
First, I had to turn my car around so I could see where I was going. Second, I had to select a desirable destination. Third, I had to aim my vehicle in the direction of my target destination and start heading that way.
But even after I turned the car around, spread maps all over the front seat, and mashed the pedal to the floor, I kept ending up in places I never intended to go. Whenever I located a desirable destination on the map, it seemed impossible to get there from here. But here was so lousy, my new favorite destination had become Anywhere-but-here. One way or another, I was determined to find an escape route from here to Anywhere-but-here.
But it was no use. I had to pull over again and re-evaluate my approach to the road trip of my life.
It was there on the side of the road that several things occurred to me:
- Someone else is driving this car—and with purposeful intention.
- He has a map, and it isn’t one of the many on my front seat.
- He has already chosen a destination for me, and He has meticulously mapped out a most unlikely route to get me where He wants me to go.
I realized that, as it was for Abraham, so it is for all of us. God directs each one of us to get up and go to the place that He will show us. His chosen destination for us is unspeakably good, but His appointed route can be very confusing and the journey can be exceedingly hard. Even so, we can always be confident that infinite love leads us down every mile of our appointed road. And, if we keep our eyes open, there are many wonders He will reveal to us along the way.
You might see me out on the road today as I continue my trip. If we strike up a conversation at the gas pump, I might tell a story from the road or share an insight from my journey. But as for where I’m headed and how I’m going to get there, I think I’ll just leave that to Him.
What have you learned about routes and destinations on the road trip of your life?