Sunday, November 13, 2011

if i make one wrong turn in life, am i lost forever?

Did you like the article I posted last week? The one I published in Radiant magazine about seven years ago? 

Want to read another one?

I sort of feel like I'm bearing the soul of my 22 year old self by showing you these.  Even though the were printed in a magazine for thousands of eyes to read, to show them here feels like I'm exposing a journal entry.  Maybe because I feel that you guys KNOW me.  And I KNOW you.  Those thousand eyes back then were nobodies.  You are not.  Consider that a compliment...

This one is called "Mishaps with Directions".  I sort of became the Mishap Girl for this magazine.  My entire series of articles were all about how I've screwed up in different areas and learned from them.  This one is one of the more light-hearted "screw-ups".  They do get deeper.  And I will share them here.  

{I think}.


"Mishaps with Directions"
March 2006

Las Vegas, Nevada.  My best friend and I found ourselves there on a scorching July day.  Our families were vacationing together when we decided to escape the heat for awhile and go shopping.  We walked two miles with an air-conditioned mall in sight, accumulated a number of shopping bags, and proceeded to start our long walk back.  Immediately sweating after opening the mall door, we decided it would be better take the bus back down the Strip.

Seeing a bus pull up, we ran and hopped on – not thinking to ask which direction it was heading.  After ten minutes of a deep girly discussion, we looked up and realized the Las Vegas Strip was no where to be found.  In fact, we were the only ones still left on the bus and the driver was pulling over and getting off himself.  He left us wondering where we were and where he was going.   

We were lost.  Utterly, hopelessly lost.  Somewhere along the way, we forgot to look for directions.

Sometimes I wonder what God’s directions for my life look like.  Are they easier to follow than the public transportation in Las Vegas?  Does God leave me to fend for myself like that bus driver?  If I make one small mistake, one wrong turn, am I lost beyond His help?  Have I messed up His glorious plans for my life when I turn left instead of right?  And how am I supposed to know He wants me to turn right?

While I’m thankful God doesn’t desert me, I think it would be helpful if He was a little clearer in where to go.  In fact, I’ve decided it would help if God’s voice came on a GPS system.  My dad recently bought a new car with a navigational system installed.  Wanting to take a trip to the local ice-cream store to experience this new technology, my entire family piled in and typed “Dairy Queen”.  We allowed “The Voice” to guide us turn by turn into the parking lot.  He could never let us down.

Imagine how surprised we were when on our way to the church, The Voice told us to turn the opposite direction out of our subdivision.  My dad quickly responded, “He doesn’t know ‘nuttin’” as he turns the correct way – while The Voice barks over and over “Turn around, wrong turn.  Turn around, wrong turn”.  We made it safely to church that day.  The Voice didn’t know as much as we thought he did.


Maybe it would be more beneficial if God was like  I’d type in a brief description of where I am now in life and my desired destination, press enter, and have God’s step-by-step plan of how to get from Point A to Point B. 

However, a recent experience tells me that sometimes Mapquest decides to send you on a road that no longer exists.  I suppose this would not be as helpful as I thought. 

Despite how convenient it would have been, I think I’ve figured out why I wasn’t born with a map outlining every turn and decision in my life.  If I did, I would have no reason to talk to or trust in God.  My Bible would sit under my bed collecting dust because every time I come to a crossroads in my life, I find myself seeking God more and more for His will and His answer.  I find myself pouring over Scripture to discover God’s heart.  It has been in the times when I have no idea what to do with my life that I have grown closest to God.  And that’s ultimately what He wants – an intimate relationship with me.

But, He’s not always clear with me.  He doesn’t always write the answer on the wall or give me a verse that says, “Becky will do this next year”, but as I seek Him, He shows me more of His desires and heart for the lost of this world. 

He shows me through verses like Matthew 28:19-20 that no matter where I go, I am called to make disciples and spread the Gospel.  He comforts me in Deuteronomy 31:8 that the Lord goes before me and will never leave me or forsake me.  And, when I study Jeremiah 10, verse 23 tells me that my life is not my own.  It is not even my responsibility, obligation, or privilege to direct my own steps. 

It’s His.

I’m at a crossroads in my life right now, and every option seems to be something God would direct my steps into.  I look to the right and there’s the option of staying on Campus Crusade for Christ staff.  Then, on my left is a new job of directing and running a teen youth center.  Straight ahead is my boyfriend who is most likely reenlisting in the Army for three years, so there’s the decision of moving closer to him.  And I really only have two months to decide.

Although I’m definitely not an expert on making crucial life decisions and seeking God’s will in them, I think there are a few key points I can know for sure. 

First, God wants me to be of value and use to Him – wherever I am.  I need to look at my options and decide where I will be of most use to God.

Secondly, God wants me to look primarily to Him for my decision.  It’s dangerous when I rely on other people’s advice more than God’s guidance, and I do this often.

Finally, when I am lost and confused about the next direction in my life, I can be reassured that as it says in Isaiah 30:21, whether I turn to the right or the left, I will hear a voice behind me saying, “This is the way; walk in it”. 

Listen for that voice – the voice that sometimes shouts and sometimes whispers, and run hard after it.  And when you hear it, stay on the course.  Detours are not recommended.


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