|Keep checking the map|
During our years of home education, my children and I travelled throughout Joburg, Pretoria and surrounds on various outings a to home ed. events. In those days, there were no mobile phones or GPS; we used a map book. I would examine the map, plot a route, toss the map book in the car and travel to our destination by memory. It didn’t always work that way.
There were often times that we took the ‘scenic route’. Sometimes I would just keep driving until I found the right way and others when we had to stop on the side of the road assess where we were, pull out the map book and plot another route. The children were seldom perturbed when I declared that we were lost again; they knew we would get there eventually. Taking an alternative route was just part of the expedition.
Besides costing us a little extra in time and petrol, these meanders proved useful. We saw new scenery and sometimes made a note of places that we would like to come back to visit on another occasion. The roads we travelled sometimes proved useful for future trips. While taking the direct route is always the most desirable, the meanders we took didn’t do us any harm. In our walk with God, though, our meanders are anything but harmless.
As children of God, our destination is heaven, our map book is scripture and God has given us a specific instruction to take the narrow road. This direct route has a name – obedience. By implication, any meander is disobedience. The direct route entails a life of submission – God is our authority and we go where he guides us. When we meander, we relinquish that authority and take control of the route ourselves. Sometimes we meander because of deliberate disobedience, but often we find ourselves on the alternative route because we have been careless and allowed nature to take its course. This is dangerous as naturally, we will always tend to stray.
Our meanders are always a lack of trust. The narrow road is just that – so narrow. Do we really have to stick so closely to it? Can’t we just broaden it a little to consider our own needs and desires? We want the scenic route; we want our own way, but it leads to destruction. Our gracious God often uses these meanders to teach us a lesson, to refine our faith. this doesn’t mean that we deliberately meander to experience God’s grace – that’s presumption. The lesson is often: “Don’t meander”, but how slow we are to learn this.
The Lord in his grace uses various means to get us back on track: his Word read and preached or a friend to sometimes give us a nudge in the right direction. Some of us need to be pushed and shoved to get back onto the narrow road and takes a hard knock of life to teach us that we have taken a wrong turning. When we find ourselves on this wrong path, may we not be too proud to stop and assess where we are, take out the map book and plot a route back to where we ought to be. It is only the narrow road that leads us to our destination and brings true peace on the way.
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Phone: Please note that at Good Neighbours we used the church phone number as a back-up when we were having extreme Telkom difficulties last year. That number has reverted back to the church. The only valid number for GN is 011 704 1857.
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