Trusting God for the directions in life

Sunday, April 29, 2012

There is a lot to be learned from roads.

I realized this after getting lost three times on a road trip with one of my friends this past weekend.

Usually when it comes to driving, I'm good at following directions. I find great joy in getting myself to places I've never been by following a handy step-by-step list of turns provided courtesy of Google Maps. After this weekend, though, I realize this keen driving ability isn't because of some primitive nomad-like sixth sense preserved through the generations in my family's line of genes, but because I do what the directions say.

When I first began driving in unfamiliar places, my dad -- who also has a keen sense of direction -- said: "Trust the road signs. If you follow the signs, you won't get lost."

Advice I kept remembering but not heeding during the drive back to Kirksville, Mo.

The first turn we missed was a mistake. The sign for the road was 10 miles before we thought it would be, so I didn't think it was the right road. After stopping and asking for directions a half an hour past the road the directions gave us, we were heading toward a different road that would get us back on track. When we saw that road, for some reason we decided it would be better to go straight instead of turning. That took us into Illinois. Not where we wanted to be.

We turned around and drove successfully for a few miles. Then we saw the road the set of directions we were no longer following would have told us to take. Even though my friend's mom had told us the road we now needed was up ahead, we thought it would be a good idea to take the road from the first directions instead. A few miles in we realized we weren't in the same spot on this road that the original directions would have taken us through, and we needed to turn around again. We finally decided to follow the verbal directions we'd received, trusting the last road to take us into Kirksville would be there, and it was. I've never appreciated a sign with the word "Kirksville" on it so much.

This weekend I learned about life through the beauty of roads: There's more than one way to get to a place. I have an idea of where I'd like to end up in life, but it's unfamiliar territory and I don't know how to get there. Trusting God instead of relying on myself will get me where I need to be. I don't have to be afraid of taking a wrong turn, though, because roads connect places with other places, and they intersect with each other.

When we take a wrong turn (or three), God still gets us to where we're meant to be, just in a different way than we originally mapped out for ourselves. He is a faithful God who brings good out of every situation, capable of more than we can dream possible. And he amazes me.

Mia Pohlman is a Perryville, Mo., native studying at Truman State University. She loves performing, God and the color purple -- not necessarily in that order.

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