One evening recently I was blessed with going with some friends to a worship celebration. There were six of us going so we decided two cars would be best. The driver of the car I was in didn’t know where we were going. In fact none of the occupants of my car did. Now I could have pulled it up on my smart phone and got directions and that would have helped. Instead we decided to follow the other driver since she knew where we were going and the direction we were headed. We trusted her and her judgment. We laughed and told her not to lose us. We got there safely. Coming back we were in traffic so we headed out on our own. We did pretty well until we were getting ready to hit the interstate. None of us have been on that particular road so we weren’t sure where the on ramp was. We were driving fairly slowly on the service road so we wouldn’t miss the on ramp. The driver who was knowledgeable had come up behind us. Seeing we were struggling finding our way she went around us and once again led us onto the on ramp. Once we were on the road we knew how to get back. The driver who was leading felt comfortable enough to move on ahead and we eventually lost them.
I was thinking about this one morning. It correlates with our Christian walk. There are times we depend on others and trust others to help us on our journey through life. Ecclesiastes 4:9 tells us this, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” We all know there are times we need others to help us succeed at what we are doing or where we are going. I am in a Mentoring program. I am being mentored as I walk this journey. It has been good for me to share the low spots as well as the high spots. I trust my mentor because one, she is a friend and two, because we are both headed for the same destination. Now we may get there at different times and maybe at times we will use different directions to get there. My course may call for a different route from hers. There may be times I will need to take the lead and her follow me (I doubt that I; I don’t always have a good sense of direction), the point is we trust each other. Friends are never far behind or ahead of us that they can’t help us out of a jam. Just like us not knowing where we were going our friend was right there to once again lead us in the right direction. The critical thing about this is we must trust who we are allowing to lead us, they must be people God has put in our path and we must always be aware that they too can make mistakes and get lost.
As I said earlier we got on the road we knew and the other car took off because of traffic. We were on our own. We knew where we were going and we knew the course fairly well. What would have happened if we had lost our way or had to detour and our friend wasn’t around to get us out of the jam? That can happen to us. We are on this journey and our friends are moving out ahead of us or they have fallen behind and we need to go it alone. Well, we are never alone God is always with us. What happens then? Just like cars used to have we have maps to help us get where we want to go. Now we have GPS’s and smart phones. The Bible is one sure GPS. Our Bibles used to be called our maps, but in this day of technology I guess they are now our GPS’s. I could have gotten my smart phone out, typed in where I wanted to go and a map would show me the most direct route (ok, well most of the time). That’s where our Bibles come in. We can look for directions on where we want to go and the best direction to get there. For instance say I want my direction to be on how to love others more. I can go to 1 Corinthians 13 and it talks about love. Asking God to show you scripture is a sure fire method. I have asked God on more than one occasion to give me a scripture on how to get through this journey I am on and every time He has helped me make the right turn, make u-turns, or take the right detour. Being in Bible Study or doing morning devotions are another way to find directions for our lives. Don’t forget prayer is as important for finding our way as much as anything. Listening is another sure way. Listen to the Holy Spirit. He will guide you and let you know if you are off the beaten path.
We made it home to my house. My driver dropped me off and left. The other occupant that was with me got in her car that she had left in my driveway and headed home; she still had a twenty minute drive. Like an old mother hen, I asked my friend to text me when she got home. I wanted to know she made it safely. I know there are many folks who have heard through a dream, or vision, or even a still small voice their loved one has made it home after their death. I have not had that privilege. I have to trust that they made it. Knowing Diana and knowing Diana was in God’s hand I should have trusted that she would make it home. I should have known things would be okay, but instead of trusting I wanted to know for sure. We may not always know whether or not our loved ones have made it home. What I do know is this: if my loved one has followed God on their journey, if they have allowed others to help them on their journey, if they have used their Bibles as GPS’s and prayed along the way then I can trust that they made it safely home and I need not worry.
The worship celebration was packed full of people from all walks of life and from all ages. We all made that our destination for that evening. We all used different routes to get where we wanted to be. Some took longer than others and others had a shorter trip. Yet, we came together and for just a little while celebrated, praised God and thanked Him for who He is and what He has been doing. It reminded me of heaven. Heaven will be full of people from all walks of life and all ages. Some will have a shorter trip; some will have a much longer trip. Some will have to detour and some will have had a straight shot. Some may have to detour while others may get lost and have to make a u-turn, but we will all have reached our destination if Christ is the one and only one we truly allow to lead our lives with the help of friends, Bible studies, and prayer. I wonder if everyone made it home safely the other night. I don’t know, but what I do know is I can trust God to take care of them and I know one day I will see them and we will reminisce about that evening and how great it was.
On this journey are you leading others? Are you being led by others? Are you confident in and trusting God for who you are allowing to lead you? Maybe you are alone right now on this journey and wonder if you are going to make it. Remember you are never alone; Christ is always with you. Remember also God has given you resources to help you along the way, but they won’t do you any good if you don’t use them. Praying, reading the Bible daily are just some of those resources He has blessed us with. We also have the Holy Spirit to lead us and tell us which direction to turn and which path to stay on, but we must listen and obey if we want to reach our destination.
Dear God: thank you for leading me and giving me resources to help me reach my destination. I haven’t always listened to the Holy Spirit as I have traveled this journey. I have gotten lost, made u-turns and had to detour. I don’t like leading because you know my sense of direction is not always clear, but when You call me to lead help me with the directions so I may steer others in the right direction. Remind me when I am traveling alone that I am never alone; You are always with me. When I am lost remind me you have given me resources to use to find my direction. One day my destination will come and I will be face to face with you and all the others I have traveled this journey with and then just like the other night the celebration will begin, but this time there will be no end. What a joy that will be. Amen.