Taking an unexpected turn can be hard, especially when you think you know where you’re going and you’re comfortable going that way. For example, there are certain places I drive to on a regular basis. I *know* how to get there, so when I’m riding with my husband and he goes a different way my usual response is to ask where he’s going, then to explain which way I go and why it’s better, lol. If I’m by myself a lot of times I will actually put where I’m going into the map app (haha, that rhymed) on my phone; usually it’s because I’m running late and want to get a good idea of how long it will take me. It annoys me greatly when it tells me to go a different way, that’s NOT the right way silly map app. Often the map is smarter than me though.
Here’s a great example of that… I go to a meeting at church every Thursday morning. It’s at the campus that is approximately 30 minutes from my house, and I have to be there at 8:00 am so it’s during the busy drive time aka “rush hour”. I don’t take the freeway because honestly it’s out of the way and doesn’t save any time. The first time I went I was almost 10 minutes late because the way I usually go to that campus was insanely backed up, I had to sit through three red lights! The second time I took a slightly different route and it was better, but I still went up this one road that gets pretty congested. It’s the road the church sits on though so it makes sense to go that way, plus it’s the way I’ve always gone. One morning I looked at the app and it told me to turn on the street before that one. Hah, silly map, you don’t know what you’re talking about! If I did that then I’d have to make another left up there and then a right and that would just take longer. Plus I was sure it was a busier road since it’s bigger, I know where I’m going and I know how to get there. After a few months of getting there by the skin of my teeth (it seemed no matter how much earlier I left I still hit various red lights and cars that insisted on going 10 miles under the speed limit) I finally gave in and followed the apps advice! I got there so much quicker! It saved me like 10 minutes! The road has an extra lane so it doesn’t get as congested, you can drive in the middle lane and not worry about slowing down for people turning right or left! The only “back-up” I experienced was when I got to the place where I crossed the freeway and I resisted getting into the right lane. The left was backed up from people wanting to enter the freeway and the middle was backed up from people wanting to cut in front of the people in the left lane to enter the freeway. I saw the backups, and knew that the right thing to do was get to the right, but again my brain told me that the right way was to stay in the middle, I knew where I was going and how to get there. That resistance to redirection caused me a delay.
God changing our path can be just like that! We can be so sure we know where He is leading us and how He wants us to get there. We’ve received clear direction on where He wants us to be and how He wants to use us and most importantly how He wants us to get there. Then kabam! Something comes along and He gives us a nudge in a different direction, an unfamiliar route. Kind of like putting an address into your map app (hee hee) and it telling you to take one street instead of the one you’re used to and comfortable with. At that point we have a choice to make, will we resist and go our usual way or will we listen and turn that new direction, no matter how weird, scary, or illogical it might seem. I’ve had lots of those moments in my life. Times when I was sure where I was going and then kabam! God tells me to take a right instead of a left, or says, “Hey, baby girl, turn here, there’s something special on this road I want to show you…” Maybe it’s a short cut, maybe not. It might be the long way around, there might be a couple of extra turns, or maybe there will be a lot, I don’t know. What I can tell you is that making that immediate turn when He changes that route on you is so worth it.
I’m kind of facing an unexpected turn right now. I’ve been comfortable where I am and with the path I’m on. I have no doubt that I’m going where God wants me, but there is a turn approaching that is something different, something new, something kind of scary, but something so exciting that it’s blowing my mind! God put this thing on my heart years ago, even before I knew Him or knew what it was. Now there is this teeny tiny step into it, and I’m so excited and yet scared. Along with it comes something new though, and leaving something else behind, that familiar route that I’ve been comfortable with. Now I’m taking an unfamiliar route… there’s a chance I could get lost, what if I miss a turn, what if it’s a bad neighborhood, what if I get stuck in traffic? Well… there is always a chance of those things, even in familiar territory. I know that as long as I follow Him I won’t get lost (Proverbs 3:5-6), if I miss a turn He will be right there to help me get back on track (Luke 15:17-20), if it’s a bad neighborhood He won’t leave my side (Deuteronomy 31:6), and if I’m stuck He will provide all I need (Philippians 4:19). I just have to make that turn, in faith, and go where He tells me…