Thursday, March 10, 2011

What's Down the Road?

There’s a gravel road that takes off into the woods from the main road I travel daily. Every time I see it I wonder where it’s going? We’re in the Big Thicket down here which is a heavily wooded forest of pines, hardwoods and brush. You can’t see the trees for the forest. The only way through it is to cut a passage. When you do you usually end up with a wall of trees on each side. Most country roads look like that down here.

But, beyond the beauty of the road is the question: where’s it going? Roads do that to me. They don’t usually make roads that go nowhere, so I wonder what I’d find if I went down it. What adventure lays waiting around the bend?

Often one road leads to another road. Each road we find forces a decision. Do I go? Do I stay where I am?  Y’s, Crossroads, T’s each challenge us to choose the way we should go.

Alice asked the Cheshire cat which way she should go. He asked back, “Where do you want to get to.” She said, “Oh, it doesn’t matter where I get to, just tell me which way I should go.” His answer was insightful. “If it doesn’t matter where you get to, then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

If I’m just wandering aimlessly, I’m in sync with Alice. Any road will do. Going nowhere requires no specific directions. If I actually anticipate arriving someplace, I go with the Cat. If there is a place I’m heading, a destination, a location, not every road will get me there. I want to know I’m on the right road, going the right direction. The right direction may mean I take the country road instead of the highway.

Through Isaiah, the Lord said, “Your ears will hear a word behind you, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” If God cares enough about the direction of my life to guide me, then my journey suddenly takes on purpose. If He has intentions for my path, He must have a destination in mind.  

The second challenge comes by staying on the road to which He has directed me. That’s not always easy. Some roads make you think you’ll never get where you’re going. He said, “You were tired out by the length of your road, yet you did not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewed strength, therefore you did not faint.” Not only does He guide us but He provides strength for the journey.

So, with direction and support—what’s not to like about a road we’ve never traveled before.

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