By: Staci Stallings
Most of us live like we plan a trip. If you were going to, let’s say Iowa (just because), and you were going to drive there. What is the first thing you would do?
Get out a map, right? (Some of us would have to figure out exactly where Iowa even IS… but that’s a topic for another day.) We would get the map, determine where we are right now and then map out how to get to Iowa–the quickest way, the most scenic way, whatever fits what we want the trip to be like.
I want you for a moment to picture yourself doing this. In your head, make that map.
Now, tell me that’ s not how you live. You figure out where you want to go, the shortest route to get there, and make a plan to make it happen. They call it setting goals, and everyone is very familiar with how important it is to set goals. Right?
But consider this. If you were coming to my house, and I told you: “Go south on Osage until you get to the red light, then turn left, go one mile. There will be a road marker in the ditch. When you go past that, turn left…” Would you find my house following my directions? Probably. However, I have a much easier way for you to get to my house. You tell me, “Staci, would you mind coming to get me and bring me to your house?”
The situation immediately changes (should I agree to come get you). You are no longer worried about writing down directions, getting out your map, figuring gas mileage and how to get to Osage in the first place. Right? You just wait for me to show up at YOUR house, you get in MY car, and then you sit back. As we travel, do you constantly say to me, “Oh, aren’t you supposed to turn here? I thought we were going to go through Oklahoma City. Are you sure you know where you’re going? Maybe you’d better let me drive.”
Of course you don’t.
In fact, come to think of it, I had this exact experience when I went to Iowa to visit Dennis. He and his wife met me at the airport (because I was afraid I would get hopelessly lost if they didn’t). To get back to their house, Jane took their car, and Dennis rode with me–over the river, but again, that’s another story! Trust me on this one, except for the bridge thing, I didn’t sit there saying to him, “Are you sure this is right? I really think we should take that road. This turn doesn’t look right. Maybe we should stop and get a map. I don’t think you know where you’re going.”
The metaphor shifted into overdrive two days later when Dennis and I traveled to a small Iowa town to visit his uncle. Picture for a moment a twisting, windy road that you would suddenly have to turn off of to get onto another twisty, windy road with nothing but fields to mark your place on the earth. It would’ve taken hours to write down the directions to get me from one little Iowa town to the other. But because Dennis was driving, I didn’t even have to worry about what turn to take where because he knew the way.
Now. I want to ask you a question. Who is your map? Or better yet, who is driving your life?
Like I said, most of us get out the maps. We treat life as if we have to have all of the answers well before the questions have even been asked. We want to know exactly where we’re going and EXACTLY how we’re getting there. But God doesn’t work that way.
God is like Dennis. He knows where He’s going.
Sure, you can be a backseat (or sideseat) driver. You can question every step, complain about the route He’s taking, second guess the turns He makes, and even insist on driving because you think He doesn’t know what He’s doing. Or you can sit back and go for the ride. Putting your trust in Him that He will get you exactly where you are supposed to be and you can simply enjoy the ride.
Your choice. Make it wisely.