I like directions.
I like knowing where I’m going. If I’m driving, you better believe I looked at the map already (and even if I’m not driving, there’s a good chance I still did). I’ll Google Maps the address, study the street names, copy down the directions, plug in the GPS and – for good measure – make sure there’s a paper map in the car.
I like to know where I’m going, how I’m getting there. How long it will take and what’s going to happen on the way.
But let’s be honest – I barely know what I’m doing tomorrow. I don’t have a five-year plan, I don’t have post-grad career aspirations. I don’t have a 10-step outline for the rest of my life. And God didn’t give me a Google Map.
(I keep hoping that someday, somehow, the heavens will open, a mighty hand will reach down, and I’ll be handed turn-by-turn directions for the rest of my life.)
Turn left at Loneliness. Continue straight through Heartbreak and Hurt. Take a right into Sadness and drive, just keep driving.
What would you do if God gave you all the directions? Dictate them to Siri and listen as she tells you where to turn? Pin that map up on your wall or tape it inside your binder. Follow them faithfully and never question?
I wouldn’t. Oh heck no.
I’d be trying to find a shortcut. I’d be picking a different street, finding a better route. I’d take a highlighter to that map before you can quote Jeremiah 29:11 at me. I’d cross out and draw arrows and scribble all over God’s route. I’d rearrange the directions of my life.
I’d spend less time on Loneliness. Skip Sadness. Give the towns of Heartbreak and Hurt a wide berth. I’d spend more time on the roads of Comfort and Contentment. I’d find the shortest, easiest route that takes me straight to Happily Ever After.
It’s a good thing I don’t get a Google Map for my life, because I would screw up God’s plans in a heartbeat. I’d change them and tweak them. Because I am stubborn and foolish, because I can barely unclench my hold on my life enough to let Him in. Because I think I know best.
Which – by the way – I don’t.
I don’t have the map. I can’t see the end, don’t know where I’m going. Don’t know that all my time driving down Loneliness will teach me how to turn to God. That visiting Heartbreak and Hurt will give me strength and courage. That I’ll drive into Sadness and keep driving, but one day I’ll drive right out of it, and then I’ll be able to promise every girl still inside that yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I’ll have to take His path. Do my best to follow each direction as He gives it to me. Step by step, turn by turn, I’ll make it through.
I’ll pass through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and come out at the other end, find myself in the midst of Healing and Joy. Move on to Growth and Change. And keep driving, driving towards the adventure on the horizon.