Saturday, May 23, 2015

Recalculating Route...

What do you think of when people say "God has a plan for your life"? Or reference being on "God's path"?

For a long time, I looked at my Christian journey as a specific path - point A to point B, with a specific direction or route. I think a lot of people get hung up on this vision as well.

This vision is the reason that people say they'll come to church or start praying "when they get right with God" or "when they figure some things out." This image of God's path is dangerous, because when you find yourself in the middle of the woods or the desert, you have to first find your way back to the marked path.

There have been several things in my life that have challenged this way of perceiving God's plan and path. When Nate and I invested in our calling to the church plant in Bloomington, at the end we whispered, "Was that what was supposed to happen? Was this the plan?" I struggled because there was growth for many, but pain for many as well. Was that a costly lesson that was part of a point A to point B journey? Did God call us to be a part of a church that was always intended to close its doors in less than a year?

I began to look at God's path differently when I was driving in Bloomington a couple of months ago. I had to go up there to get Emmarie's birth certificate from the McLean County Clerk, so I entered the unfamiliar address in my phone GPS.

As I entered town, I realized that I needed to go to CEFCU to get cash to pay for the certified copy, so as Siri directed, "Turn right on Washington St." I kept going.

"Recalculating route." Siri announced.

"Turn right on Empire St." I continued down Veterans.

"Recalculating route." Siri announced.

This continued to happen as I made my way to the bank, in the opposite direction of Siri's path.

As I mused at how Siri's path was always relative to exactly where I was at that moment, God's "path" suddenly made a lot more sense to me. God's path isn't some golden A to B route, where if you stray, you must find your way back... God is ALWAYS recalculating your route. His directions are from where you are at this very moment.

It doesn't matter how many wrong turns you've made. It doesn't matter how many directions you've missed or intentionally ignored. At every missed opportunity and broken moment, God says, "Recalculating route... You are still loved... You are still on my path." Your path is not a matter of wrong decisions, where you're at, or how far you've headed in the opposite direction - it's a matter of taking the next direction.

Where is God calling you right now?