I have a confession. I have ALD. That means “Always Lost Disorder.” I diagnosed myself, and even came up with term. It’s for real, folks. I love clear signs, that warn me WAY ahead of time of where I need to go, and frequent signs that confirm to me that I’m on the right path.
I got a little lost this past Sunday, as we were walking on our favorite trails. It’s a 3 km trail, with at least 15 turns that all look alike- pine trees, dirt path, an occasional antelope or monitor lizard in the path… So I really appreciate the BLUE signs that tell me I’m on the 3 km path. Heaven forbid that I start following the RED signs that take you on the 10 km trail. That’s the one my husband and oldest son go on. You could say they are a bit more (ahem) athletic than I am. To make matters worse, I had my two younger children with me, and I felt slightly responsible for their life. It was lunchtime, after all, and starvation is a real thing.
After one missing sign, and therefore a missed turn, a little staring at the sky confused (and wishing I knew north from south and how that made any difference anyway), and a little backtracking, we found our way. And I was inspired.
How many times do we wish the path of LIFE was clearly marked?
We want signs that let us know in advance which way we should turn. We want frequent signs that confirm we are on the right path. But those signs aren’t always there, according to God’s sovereign plan. At least the ones that tell us WAY in advance what to do. Sigh. That’s where faith and trust come in.
So what do we do when the signs aren’t clearly marked and we don’t know where to go? We have two choices.
1- We panic and make foolish decisions based on our own logical thinking. For example, it was lunchtime and in my fear that we wouldn’t get out of that park during daylight, we contemplated eating the giant African snail we found. Snail sushi anyone? We started looking at the small streams and wondered if that qualified as drinkable water. I had left my water bottle in the car..
But seriously. Abraham had a difficult time waiting for that promised son, and took matters into his own hands, and thus was born Ishmael. Sometimes we have a hard time waiting, so we take job offers we shouldn’t, or purchase things we shouldn’t, or…. the list goes on and on. We do what makes sense to us, but isn’t necessarily the best option according to God.
2- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
His ways are not our ways. His timing is not our timing. The sign for the path we should take usually comes at just the right time, at the proverbial Eleventh Hour. It makes us trust a little more. I think God likes that. As I look to the near future, I see several options before me and I have some decisions to make. And honestly, right now, I’m not sure what the best option is. But I know that God has a perfect plan (and if I choose a less-than-perfect option, He will redeem that and work it for His good). While I would love a good sign, I’ll be content with trusting. There is no other place that I want to be than in the center of God’s will, so if He hasn’t told me where to turn, I’ll keep going straight and trust that He will lead me in the right direction when the time comes. He’s never failed me, and He has promised He never will. 1 Corinthians 13:8.