Saturday, April 20, 2013

Finding Direction


For several mornings now, geese have been flying over our yard, headed north to their favorite lake. Temperatures have been in the 50s up to high 60s. Hospitable for geese (and people). Then, after weeks without a frost, we had two nights in a row of freezing temperatures. On that second morning, as I stood in the yard with our dog, I watched a goose fly over, calling to another beyond the trees. Just two of them. No V-formation that morning. They weren’t flying north this time, these two loners had apparently decided they’d gotten their seasons mixed up and after waking to find a second frosty day, determined to head south. In mid-April. Uh, excuse me gentlemen, but you’re going the wrong way. Hang on a little longer and the temps will return to a hospitable range for dwellers of the out of doors. You just have to tough it out a bit longer.

Made me stop to think. How often do we do that? Go in what we believe is the correct direction, during the appropriate season, then hit signs that seem to indicate the opposite and suddenly do an about-face? Or when we hit hardships, do we do an about-face?

A Good Question

A Bible study question came up the other day: How do we know we’re following God? How do we know we’re walking with Him? Great question. Here’s another one: If we could be sure which way God is going, would we follow Him? Before we answer that question with an “of course,” we need to consider the cost. And not be surprised if hardships humble us along the way. Our faith will be tested (whether we follow God or go off on our own; there’s no avoiding the tests of faith), so will we trust?

From all appearances, the geese doubted themselves. Dawn came, bringing a second morning of frost and they woke up, left the crowd and headed back south to who knows where. Do hardships ever make you doubt where you’re supposed to be? I think the geese showed a human tendency. They added up the current facts and changed their course. That’s not all bad.

We determine if we’re on the right course by the signs. When you’re headed down an unfamiliar stretch of road, you follow a map, GPS. Directions. And, if you’re like me, you might double-check the roadside signs every so often. Yes. I-90 East. That’s the right direction. If suddenly you see a sign that reads I-90 West, you get off at the nearest exit and get back on going the correct direction. Problem solved. It’s natural, and dare I say “teachable,” to analyze the signs and use them as confirmation. Makes us feel, especially during the hard times, that we’re on the right track. We’re doing the right thing. We’re headed in the right direction. There’s peace in that knowing, isn’t there?

Helpful Directions

Here are some tips to help us know if we’re going the right direction:

1) Pray: Pray always. We don’t have to be anxious about where we are. And sometimes we’ll have surety. But for those moments when we’d like to check the sign, just ask Him. God will honor a sincere heart. He won’t leave us wondering. He never minds giving us confirmation.

2) Ask: Have I followed God’s latest instruction? Sometimes God sends us off on an exit, if you will, and we don’t take it. If that happens, we might end up diverting for a while. To get back on track, double-check that you’ve obeyed God’s directions. If you’re on the wrong side street, repent, and return to the right path.

3) Be in the Word: The Bible is our map, our guide. So, be a student of the Word. Watch God bring it to life for you. We could study it for one-hundred years and still not understand all God has to show us. There are too many facets.

Above all else, when you need confirmation as you humbly seek to do God’s will, here’s some reassurance:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
(Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)


You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalm 16:11 NKJV)

Photo credit: by porbital