Getting a Sense of Direction

I have been wandering in this world for a long time (makes me sound ancient, complete with a long, gray beard and a distinct 'old age' odor. Haha!). This week has seen me celebrate my 37th year, with a cake and some ice cream. I know I will continue to journey on wherever God leads. But as of now, I have been given respite from my wandering until year 2016. It is because, finally, after so much uncertainties, setbacks, packing and unpacking, midnight flights, and scurrying from one important office to another, I have been granted residency in Russia for a few years. Isn't that great? I will be with my family! It all came about the day before my birthday. What a gift, huh?

We didn't celebrate my birthday grandly but having the whole family with me and the knowledge that I have been given the privilege to stay with my family was a great, grand celebration in my heart. Nothing can top that as a present, as a reason for rejoicing on my 37th year of existence. God has fulfilled His promises to me and I can see that we have more celebrating to do in this journey of life that we are doing together.

Thus, when God woke me on my birthday early enough to have time to listen and learn from Him, I only had one prayer to say to Him. I didn't tell Him about my wishes for a house that we can turn into a home, for a happy united family, for the new baby and her soon coming birth, for opportunities to work for Him, for a loving heart to love as He does, though I so wish I have all that. But foremost in my heart and mind was a prayer for His leading, His direction in my life. For you see, I have had problems with direction.

I have a masculine trait. My little sister pointed it out to me years ago. Men would rather wander for hours than ask for directions. It usually takes them a long time to admit they need directions. So do I. I would rather waste precious time finding the way myself (in high heels), and only when my toes are killing me or my calf is sore and blue do I swallow my pride, get red in the face and find enough pluck to stop somebody and ask for directions. I know it takes only minutes to do that, but it also uses up too much of my stored courage or that deadly pride. 

Yeah, I can be a coward, stubborn… or just plain stupid. I can waste so much of the short life that I have by insisting on my own way, as I had done so many times in the past. I had sadly gone nowhere, when I had stuck to my own ego and had found that I had lost so many precious time.

My husband has noticed this trait in me, too. So whenever possible, he is adamant that I always go with him. When that is not possible and I have to go and do things myself, he instructs me on where I have to go and what I have to do, complete with a sketch or a small bit of paper with a list. And all the while, he is so nervous for me, while I feel very confident of my ability to carry out instructions. If I can't follow instructions, I trust my natural instinct of going where I have to go, which I should say is similar to a navigating system. 

That navigating system, however, has failed me many times. There was a time when my husband waited for me at a subway station and was surprised to see me pass our car and tried to open somebody else's car. He wondered where his wife was going and was relieved when that car door I was forcing to open didn't open as I wanted and I wasn't able to get in. He honked and honked at me to get my attention. After my confusion cleared up on why my husband didn't the open the door for me, I realized I was actually on my way to a grand auto theft or get myself abducted. My husband was so happy I came to my senses and was glad I was safe in our car after a few minutes.

Yes, there are times when we are so certain on where we are going or what we are doing and so sure that we are on the right path, but the Bible has warned us, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 16:25). We cannot trust our own instinct. Generations of sin inherited and years of being educated by an ungodly world has numbed our senses and has naturally inclined us to doing what seems normal in this world but which leads us astray from what is right. In other words, we embrace sin and not see sin for what it really is. And sin means death. Jeremiah states it quite correctly when he lamented, "I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own, it is not for man to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23).

Knowing my inability to even see where I am heading, I have only one prayer as I'm starting on a new year of my life. David expressed it succinctly, "Direct my steps by Your word (O Lord), and let no iniquity have dominion over me" (Psalm 119:133). I may not know what is on the next bend of my life, but God has left me instructions coming straight from Him. I have His word which came alive in Jesus. Only my stubborn trait of not asking directions from His word and wandering around, thinking I could find my own way, will get me lost. God is ready to lead me if I allow Him.

It's painful to watch somebody who is lost, but is just too stubborn to ask for directions. Women can attest to this, especially wives. We also can see it on movies. We want to shout directions, to help; but until the person admits he needs help and ask for directions, we cannot do anything except watch painfully and pray he will come to his senses. It is my prayer that I won't be that person. 

God, direct me! Amen.

You may also like to read…

While at the Waiting Area
Living God's Dream
LIVE UP God's Dream 1


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