Wednesday, August 3, 2016

God's Road Map

Have you ever asked more than one person how to get to a specific destination and suddenly you have two or more different routes to get there?  One route might be quicker and one might be more scenic and other routes might have a variety of good reasons to take them.  The destination is always the same but the way to get there is different.

Life is like that with God.  The destination is always the same but the route we take to get there is different with each one of us. I was thinking about this the other day when I was looking at old photographs of childhood.  There were pictures of my parents, the house and neighborhood I grew up in, school, jobs, travel, my wedding pictures and pictures of my sons.  I thought about how my girlfriends and I would sit on the front porch in the summer and talk about what our lives would be like when we were grown.  I grew up in a city suburb in a neighborhood of cookie-cutter like houses.  My mom was a stay-at-home mom and my dad worked all week and played golf on Saturdays.  Sundays were spent in church and at my grandparents' house.  We vacationed as a family every summer and life was good.  Because of this, I saw my life as being very much like that.  I would marry and live in a city suburb in a cookie-cutter type house, be a stay-at home mom, my husband would work all week and play golf on Saturdays.  We go to church on Sundays and then spend the day at the grandparents' house and of course, vacation every summer as a family.  I expected my life to be a straight shot toward this destination.  Little did I know that would not be the case.  I was 18 years old when my family moved away from the city to a more rural area for my father's work.  I was like a fish out of water.  Everything I grew up with in a city was now gone and I had to relearn life at a much slower pace without a lot of, what I thought, the much needed conveniences of city life.  I disliked it so much I made plans to move back to the city when I met and married a young man who changed my moving plans. 43 years later, I can look back and see the route I took to get to this destination.  Now, we live on 40 acres of farmland where the closest neighbor is 1/2 mile away, my husband worked shift work at a mine and couldn't stand golf.  He is a fisherman.  I was a working mom and lived too far away from grandparents to visit every Sunday.  Vacationing as a family was hard with my husband's shift work but we did get to go away sometimes in winter and sometimes in summer.  My destination in life (so far) has not turned out the way I imagined it when I was a young girl but it has turned out the way I love it.  I wouldn't change any part of it.  My girlfriends from my youth have reached the same destination as myself but they have gotten here in a number of different ways.

God has a plan for each one of us.  He has that plan before we are even born.  He has destinations for each of us and although we don't get there in the same ways, we do get there.  When life throws me a curve ball and I am living through something that brings stress and/or pain, I tend to wonder what is God's plan that I have to go thru this.  Then I pray and realize that God has a destination for me and every obstacle and/or smooth path He gives me is going to help me reach that place.  His directions have been "spot-on" so far, I trust He will continue to get me where I am supposed to be until I stand before Him and see His loving face.

"For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope!"  Jeremiah 29:11

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