They say that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. While this may be true if you’re a crow flying, it is rarely the case for us terrestrial bound wanderers. I can’t just drive in a straight line from my house to the local Home Depot, or anywhere else for that matter. There are roads to follow that zig-zag their way through town and any number of routes you can take to get there. Never mind if there are road crews blocking your way and sending you on a detour miles out of your way.
I have found that it is much the same in our walk with the Lord. I can’t tell you how many times I have set a goal and made a plan that, in my perfect world, would take me directly to my destination with no detours or bunny trails; start at A, end up at B – right as rain. The thing is, I do not have ultra-high intensity headlights revealing everything ahead of me. All I have is a book that is supposed to be a ‘lamp unto my feet’. It’s is like bringing a pen-light spelunking!
I think I know why we are only supposed to see a step or two ahead. We may have a destination in mind; the perfect job, the comfortable retirement, a life free of cancer – (13 years and counting!!), finishing that college degree, whatever your choice. The Lord may even have placed that goal in your heart and it may be his purpose for your life, but getting there is a process. There is only one who can see each and every stone or twist or challenge there may be between here and there and if we were able to see it all we may be too overwhelmed to even take that first step.
I believe the Good Lord gives us just enough information to know we’re on the right path without being able to see challenges we may not yet be ready to face. We may not have thick enough callouses on our feet…or knees…to withstand the stony road. We may not have learned to use our other senses enough when we cannot see to enable us to trust what they are telling us. There may be things in our path that are just too big for us to handle in our own strength and we haven’t learned yet how to ‘let go and let God’ remove them. And we may not yet understand that the journey, with all of its twists and turns, could quite possible be what makes us able to thrive in the destination.
So next time you feel like you’ve hit a road block or feel stuck in your walk, stop and look and listen. There may be something there to see or do or learn that will help you later on. It has been my experience as I shine my little light and try to make my way along that the Lord has only 3 answers to just about every question: ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘not yet’. And I don’t move unless I hear one of them.