My family and I just got back from a Young Life camp in Colorado where my husband was the camp physician and my children were campers. It was an incredible week! One reason we choose to go to Colorado was because our oldest daughter Maggie was (and still is) at another nearby Young Life camp serving as a horse wrangler all summer.
In order for us to see her over the week, I had to be the one to get in the rental car and go get her. Now driving into the unknown Colorado mountains might be fine for some, but assuredly not for me. I am both blonde and directionally challenged. For example, “north” to me is straight “up”, which becomes quite a predicament when I get in the car.
On my first trip to Maggie’s YL camp, I clung tightly to the steering wheel, read every green sign with my wide unblinking eyes, checked and double checked my hand written directions, and broke out into cold sweats each time I got on a new road. I was sure one wrong turn would lead me to Idaho or Kansas. However, after following at the map precisely, I made it to Maggie! The second trip was a little better, because I now had landmarks. The third trip was even a little relaxing. And by the fourth trip, I could observe the beauty of the mountain ranges surrounding me while listening to worship music in my car; the drive was delightful!
I think our Christian walk is much like my driving experience into the initial unknown. In God’s Word (our daily map) we are asked to do some directionally challenging things. For instance:
Do all things without grumbling or disputing…. (Philippians 1:14)
Go therefore and make disciples…. (Matthew 28:19)
Forgive each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord… husbands, love your wives… (Eph. 5:22,25)
These instructions, and others, in the Word seem simple enough on paper, but when its time to “get behind the wheel” and actually put them to practice, they can be rather intimidating. Each of these require a laying down of self, and a complete trust in His Word. Can we trust Him that His way is best, and that the end destination will be rewarding? Yes, we can.
The good news is, the more we practice His principles, the more they become part of who we are in our character. This is the beautiful process of sanctification….adding precept upon precept. And as we become more like Him in faith and obedience to His Word, we begin to experience true joy and peace in our days, a beautiful freedom.
Amazingly, my drives alone in the Colorado mountains became part of the highlights of my week. The journey was worshipful and the end destination was rewarding. My prayer is that I will also look forward to the next “map reading” in God’s Word, and obey it precisely, even if it directs my soul into unknown territory. I must remember, God will never misdirect me, and His principle are always for my good and His glory.
I challenge you too, my friend, read your Map, and enjoy your drive.