As I was driving home this evening, I thought to myself, “What am I going to write about for my blog today?”
No sooner had the thought crossed my mind that I found myself deep in a roadway construction area. The three lanes of traffic had been consolidated down to one; cones were everywhere; and suddenly it wasn’t possible for me to make the customary left turn that leads me back to my apartment.
In a situation like this, what can you do?
Follow the orange cones.
Really, there wasn’t anything else that I could do. The intersection was almost completely blocked, and all but one lane had been closed. I had no choice but to follow the direction of the orange cones and see where they directed me. I was literally on a detour!
The good news is that the cones proved themselves to be quite reliable, and I was eventually able to get home. Of course, the cone-directed route took me well out of my way, but it did not fail me.
As I was navigating my way around the cones, I was telling the Lord, “Thank You for the quick answer to my prayer. I know what to write about now.”
Sometimes in our lives, God closes down a bunch of lanes and throws up a bunch of orange cones and we don’t know what to do (I’m speaking from experience here). Closed lanes, darkness, and cones as far as the eye can see! And because we can’t follow our customary route home, we get all out of sorts. Worried. Stressed out. Anxious. No peace. I’ve done all those things.
But just like my drive home this evening, when God closes down a bunch of lanes and shows you a new path, you either choose to follow the path or turn around and go your own way. In traffic, this is an ill-advised option, since a tragic accident would be the result. However, often in our lives we turn ourselves around spiritually and emotionally, and devastating things happen. Now hear me: I’m not saying that bad things always happen in our lives because we make unwise choices, but sometimes – when we choose to turm away from God and rely upom our own abilities – unfortunate things can take place.
Far better for us to simply look for and follow God’s “spiritual cones”. Just trust His guidance, even when the path doesn’t make sense.
I’m telling you that my path this evening didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but I did eventually make it home. The route was circuitous and took me longer than I had hoped, but I eventually arrived at my destination. I need to remember that no matter what kind of craziness happens in my life, God will always and eventually take me where He wants me to go, according to His timing. I made need to contend with a few cones and unexpectedly closed roads along the way, though!
Here’s my prayer for today: Dear God, thank You for this practical, real-life example of what faith and trust in You look like. When times are uncertain, You simply want me to follow the path that You’ve put in front of me – even (and especially!) when it seems quite uncertain. Help me to remember that You know all things, and that You are 100% trustworthy.
Also remind me that my intellect, experiences, emotions, and intuition are all unreliable guides and are not to be trust fully; at best they are helpful indicators, but functioning on their own (apart from You), they will always lead me woefully astray.
As bewildering as they may be, I want to thank You for the detours that You have permitted in my life. Remind me that when things seem to be out of control, I need to be on the lookout for a “spiritual cone” somewhere. Even though it may be difficult to discern, You always have a path for me to follow, and it will always – and eventually – lead me home. In Your name I pray, Amen.