When God Recalculates Your Journey
Most of us have been there . . . in the car, going on a trip using a GPS to direct us where we are going. Maybe you missed a turn or didn’t want to follow directions. Then it happens, you make her mad and she starts in . . . recalculating! A GPS is great and very handy, especially when you come up to an accident or road construction and you have to take a detour. A GPS can help you find the shortest route.
But what do you do when life throws you a detour. What do you do when your life’s journey is going well and then all of sudden because of a wrong turn, a bad decision or someone else’s bad decision, you are suddenly lost, facing a dead-end, looking at a major detour or just simply broke down at the side of the road?
In a GPS, you can update the maps to stay current with new roads and shorter ways to get you to where you want to go. Life isn’t that easy. Sometimes, you might know exactly what to do in order to keep moving forward. Sometimes, there will be people who can give you directions. There are going to be some times that your journey is so overwhelming that you just want to sit and have a good cry.
It seems that I have been on a major detour for a couple of years now. My life was going along pretty good, and I was enjoying the journey. However, there was a major roadblock that required me to get off the fast lane and spend some time in the middle of nowhere trying to get things sorted out.
Every time I would seemingly get started again I would end up down another deserted road or dead end, for which my “life’s GPS” didn’t have a map for. Every other time in my life that I had faced adversity I usually knew what to do to keep moving and get out of the situation. This time, I didn’t. My “life’s GPS” just keep repeating over and over…..recalculating.
Have you ever been there? It sucks and it’s frustrating.
I remember many times crying out to God, “I’m so lost.” Finally, one day the Lord spoke back to me and said, “Michael, you are not lost. You are in Me and I know exactly where you are.” My response: “I am glad you know where I am but could you tell me where I am because I haven’t a clue.” My prayer changed to, “Lord, I know I am not lost, but I don’t know where I am.” While I chuckle at that, it can get frustrating at times because I want to be in control. I want to be able to chart my course. I want to know where I am going, how I am going to get there and how long it’s going to take.
But, if Jesus is going to be Lord of my life, then I have to yield control to Him and trust Him that everything is going to work out.
Sometimes, though, I struggle in my trust of God. I know that God loves me, that He is good and kind, and that He has a plan. It just feels that He went on vacation and won’t be back for a while and I can’t reach Him. I know that most Christians have felt that way before.
The good news is that God does know where we are, we are never lost to Him. He has a way of recalculating our lives and the journeys we are on in a way that will always work out for our good. It just seems that sometimes the GPS is always on recalculating while we are anxious to get back to the interstate so that we can zoom along again to our destination.
There are three things I’ve learned through my journey of constant recalculation.
1. Along life’s journey, there will always be times when you have to recalculate.
I think that’s been one of my biggest struggles. That is, what happened to me wasn’t supposed to happen to me! I was supposed to be exempt from that. It wasn’t fair, and I have let God know that on many occasions.
God knows the trials, bumps, detours and roadblocks that we are going to face. He knows when we are going to slam into an obstacle in the road while we are flying 70 miles an hour down life’s highway. He knows about everything that is going to jump out at us and the things that are going to blindside us.
He knows. And He has a way of recalculating our journey when needed.
2. God is not afraid of detours.
Many times we think that God is surprised by our detours. He always has a plan. He’s not afraid of our detours.
For most of my life, I have been too focused on the destination. I have been learning that God is focused on the journey. It’s how we handle ourselves on the journey that God is looking at. Remember the story of Jairus’ daughter in Matthew 9? Jairus asks Jesus to come heal his daughter. Jesus agrees but on the way, a women who had been hemorrhaging for many years touched his cloak and was healed. Jesus was on a mission to heal a girl but there was an interruption, and a woman was healed.
It was a detour and God was not messed up by it. And He isn’t messed up by your detours either. You never know when a miracle might take place in the midst of your detour.
3. The destination isn’t the goal . . . the journey is.
Growing up, I heard the word destiny a lot. It was all about reaching your destiny. We all had a destiny that God was going to get us to. For me, my destiny was to become a Senior Pastor. I remember my first day as a Senior Pastor. I had reached my destiny . . . now what?
I was so focused on my destiny that I wasn’t paying attention to the journey. And detours along the way were points of depression and frustration to me, not opportunities for miracles. It thought that each detour, roadblock, and dead-end was a hindrance to my destiny.
It’s in the journey of life that we find God. It’s in the detours of life that we discover his grace. It’s in the dead-ends of our journey that we find God’s redemption. God is more interested in our journey than He is in our destination. In reality, the journey is the destination.
Each moment is the destination because this moment is all we have. I am learning to live in the moment.
Although we may not like detours, dead-ends, and road blocks, they are a part of life. God’s not afraid of them. God will use them. God will recalculate your journey whenever you face a detour, dead-end or road block.
Recalculating . . . . . . .