Finding our way in life is no small business. Destination is usually determined by many small steps, instead of just one big leap. Then again, there are times when a big decision begs to be made and we liken it to sky diving or setting sail or exploring a new country. I’m not sure if we’re about to leap or on the thresh hold of many small steps, but Jeff and I are staring change in the face. We want to do it well, without any obstructions to hearing God’s voice or seeing doors open, and so we’ve come away to a quiet mountain. Literally.
How can we be confident in life when our course is unclear?
When we were in India, we spent a lovely morning at the Taj Mahal with our team. We were thankful for the cool feel of the marble and the merciful breezes waltzing in from the river. Everywhere we looked, it was as if a box of 64 crayons stood around us as school girls and women of all ages toured the sacred site in brightly colored cotton dyed in every shade imaginable.
Just as the air began to rise in waves from the walkways, we began our journey back to Delhi. The language barrier prevented us from asking the van driver if we would be taking the long scenic route or the shorter highway route. Before long, it became clear that we were not only on the long route, but we were lost and stopped in gridlocked traffic. He was sweating.
Before long, we were all sweating. The air conditioner stopped working, and surrounded by trucks, opening windows did no good. Our water bottles were warm and nearly empty as heat stroke began knocking at the van windows. We were at the mercy of a driver we didn’t know, couldn’t communicate with, and had no power to change our circumstances.
How is finding our way in life any different than being hot and lost somewhere in India? When going through transition or staring a major life decision in the face, it’s easy to feel like we felt in India: vulnerable, unsure, confused, frustrated, worried, and sick. There are times when we just don’t have what it takes to cry out. You may suspect you’ve been tricked, betrayed, or abandoned. You might not feel like anyone would hear if you did cry out, and you only see your circumstances going from bad to worse. Only one thing makes a difference when life’s course is unclear and decisions must be made.
Our driver is divine, and we can trust our decisions to Him. He is all-knowing, even if we can’t see beyond our immediate needs. He is acting for our best, even if we don’t know all He’s doing. He is listening and speaking to us, for He invites us to communicate with Him. He has determined our destination, asking only that we follow Him.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” ~ Psalm 32:8
An old song is often sung at camp retreats, missionary commissionings, and revivals. Emotional responses last about as long as an ice cube on a hot day in Delhi, but these time-tested lyrics are the song of a thoughtful, serious decision:
- Lead me Lord, I will follow.
- Lead me Lord, I will go.
- You have called.
- I will answer.
- Lead me Lord, I will go.
If we’re in a place of decision making, we have a choice. We can trust our future to human reason … and feel the fear that comes from being at the mercy of a driver we don’t understand, who doesn’t have our best in mind, and who is ultimately powerless to fulfill promises made. Or we can trust the divine driver. He is the merciful one who has the power to lead us to our promised future if we follow Him.
This one difference makes a difference when making decisions.
At the right time, the divine Driver will make the course He’s charted for us clear. If we’re making decisions, we can count on that.