We headed out on our family vacation this morning. We packed up the Excursion with our four kids and luggage and headed for the mountains. We're on a genuine family road trip - 17 hours over 2 days. I'm riding shot gun right now after putting in the first four hours of driving this morning. We have about three more to go for today's leg.
Our trip started a little stressful as we found ourselves lost within 20 minutes of leaving the house. Well, we weren't actually lost. The problem was our GPS was giving us different directions than what we routed via MapQuest and both of these were different than what I was thinking in my head. We knew where we were and where we wanted to go. We just weren't sure of the right way to get there.
Does this sound a little too familiar to real life?
I know where I'm at. I have a job, family, house with a mortgage, etc... I think I have a good idea where I want to go. I want to be able to put my kids through college, finish a successful career and retire comfortably. But do I know how to get there? Just like conflicting information on our road trip, I am flooded with different information on how to get where I think I want to be in life.
How do we get where we want be? Some experts tell you to put x dollars or x percentage into college fund and 401k. Or should you put money into an annuity? How about life insurance? Real-Estate? What happens if the stock-market crashes? What if gas prices never come back down? What if I lose my job?
Directions on a road trip are much simpler. I just enter my destination into the TomTom and it guides me turn by turn. It may not be the way I want to get there but if I have faith, it will eventually get me there. There is one catch with GPS and any other tool you use to find your way. If you put in the wrong destination, you'll never get where you need to be.
This is where we blow it in life. We decide where we think we want or need to go and then try to figure out how to get there. However, what if we pick the wrong destination? Maybe college for my kids and a relaxing retirement are not the right destination? It won't matter what advice we follow or how much faith we have in those directions, we won't end up where we were really meant to be.
Fortunately, I have a much better tool for directions in life than I have for my family road trip. I have God's Word. The Bible not only gives me directions but it also tells me where I need to go - something my TomTom can never do.
The directions may not always seem to make sense to me. They may be counter intuitive to the directions I might normally head on my own. However, I've tried my own routes many times and sure enough, what I thought was right was in the wrong direction. Fortunately, my forgiving God patiently instructs me to U-turn and head in the direction He directs.
Psalms 119:105 (ESV) 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.