You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
I went to a meeting one evening last week. The venue was familiar as was the route back; out from the hall along a suburban road onto the dual carriageway which would take me home. No problems, I have driven that route so many times in the past. Driving along the dual carriageway I noticed marker boards indicating lane closures ahead. This was not unusual since at that time of night repairs to the road are often carried out when the traffic is lighter. The road narrowed as expected until suddenly we were diverted off the road altogether on to a side road. Here panic set in as everybody tried to reset their sat-navs to get them to their destinations.
Life is a bit like that sometimes. You travel along the safe comfortable path that you’ve travelled many times before. Then maybe you see a side path which looks interesting, exciting perhaps. Indeed from the outset this new path promises all sorts of good things, a better job, perhaps an increased pay packet or some recognition for all your efforts and so you follow it. Often sadly the path peters out leading nowhere; all those expectations come to nothing. You are disappointed, frustrated perhaps and left wondering how to regain the original path which now doesn’t seem so bad after all but is rather a long way off now.
But last week’s adventure was not a wandering along a side road of my own choice. This was an unexpected but deliberate diversion that had been set up since there was an obstruction on the road ahead. I was diverted away from my original course onto a different road, along an unfamiliar way.
And life is like that, too. We make our way along our nice comfortable familiar path when suddenly God calls us to take a different way. (The call may not be sudden of course; it may come as a series of quiet pin pricks.) However it comes, the way God wants us to go will be unfamiliar and thus a bit frightening, but it is the path that He has chosen for us. It is the path God wants us to take even if we do have reservations. Now, since God loves us as we are and therefore wants what is best for us it should be the path we want to take too. But the question is this, are you ready to leave your safe comfortable way of living to take the unfamiliar and perhaps frightening path God has chosen for you? Are you ready to listen to, and obey God’s call? Will you say “Here I am Lord”? And if you have can you commit to staying the course, following the road He has laid out for you whatever the dangers or difficulties? Trust in the Lord and in His might!
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time work for a number of years