Brian Shaffer's Week 1 Post

Proverbs 4:11-12 (Contemporary English Version) I have shown you the way that makes sense; I have guided you along the right path. Your road won't be blocked, and you won't stumble when you run.

Road trips, ever since I could drive, I have loved them. Figuring out where you wanted to go and how you'd get there using a highlighter on maps at the kitchen table (yeah I'm that old), or later, using MapQuest and getting instant turn by turn directions to print out, or now, plugging your destination into the GPS in the car and just listening for the voice to give you directions as you turn out of the driveway.

I’m particularly fond of the GPS because if I miss a turn it finds a new route for me. It takes a moment to figure out I missed the last turn and then tells me how to get back on the right route to where I wanted to go. It’s also handy on those trips you don’t think you need any help getting to your destination. I had one of those trips with Kim my fiancé this spring. We were heading to Norfolk to see her family and as we were traveling up 275, we were greeted by a crew from the Dept. of Roads blocking the road. The spring rain caused water to go over a bridge ahead making the road impassable. We turned the only direction we could and headed down the road expecting to see a detour sign to help us get back. We drove and we drove but didn’t see any signs to help us. I don’t know exactly how far we had driven but it felt like quite a distance considering the lack of traffic and lack of just about everything but open fields around us. Eventually, we stopped at the crest of a hill and got out the GPS. It took awhile for it to figure out where we were and where we wanted to go but it wasn’t long before we were back on the road listening intently for the next set of directions to follow. The detour cost us some time but we got there and most importantly we got there safely.

In life, distractions, detours, and things you couldn’t have planned for become a roadblock between you and your destination. Sometimes things that look really attractive come up and you decide on taking a little side trip. That’s what my life was like not all that long ago. I kept turning and going down different roads trying to find a way to make my life better. It was frustrating when you go to grasp something that you think will make life better but instead makes things worse. I ignored a lot of messages telling me different ways to go because I knew I had it figured out. I thought I knew what I was doing and where I was going. I kept it all inside and a lot of people didn’t see me struggling. I hid it so well that even I didn’t see how much I was struggling. I may not have seen my struggles but God did and when I finally tired myself out from thrashing around he told me how to get home.

I learned that you can either keep going down the same road and taking whichever turn you think is going to fix everything or you can stop. Just stop and listen. God is the best GPS system anywhere. He knows where you are every moment of your life and has always known the direction you should be going. Stop and listen because he can’t make you turn the right direction. He will guide you past the roadblocks, over the potholes and through the traffic jams that seem too big to handle. Listen, hear his voice and follow his direction. You may need to do some back tracking or turn some direction that you may not want to go but remember he is with you and all he wants to do is bring you home safe. No matter what you do, God recalculates your route for you and like the GPS patiently gives you the next turn you need to get back on the correct route. Though sometimes I’m positive I hear the GPS getting impatient when I don’t follow the directions.

Lord, thank you for always knowing which way we should turn and being willing to tell us. Thank you for being patient with us while we try to do our own ‘thing’, which very often is not YOUR ‘thing’. Remind us that you are always there and we just need to stop and listen to hear your voice. Help us be silent and still so we can hear you more clearly and give us strength to follow your direction. We pray this knowing all things are possible through you. We love you and thank you.