When our oldest son was sixteen, he was hired to work as a lifeguard at a Boy Scout camp about 90 minutes from us. Hubby knew this route very well because he lifeguarded at the same camp when he was a teenager.
One weekend, though, I had to take our son back to camp after church. I’m directionally-challenged, so I printed out directions from MapQuest. According to the directions, I needed to turn right on this particular road, which was less than a mile from camp. Okay, no problem.
However, this road seemed hidden from the road with tall grasses framing this dirt road. Surely this couldn’t be the right road. It was nothing more than a deeply-rutted log road. Why in the world would MapQuest have me turn down this road?
After 45 minutes of frustration and fear of bottoming out, I found an area big enough to turn around and head back to the main road where we had cell service to call Hubby. He said we needed to make the next right. I followed his directions and dropped my son off at camp.
I can laugh about it now, and yes, that scene has already found its way into one of my novels, but at the time, I was scared and uncertain of my destination.
After arriving home, I searched MapQuest to see why this happened. I realized I had checked shortest distance instead of shortest time.
I learned taking shortcuts often comes with a price, resulting in even more work.
The same can be said about the journeys in our lives. If we try to take short cuts, we’re more apt to end up down those log roads pitted with frustration and discouragement. Every stretch of the road forces us to makes choices. Those choices can fill us with peace or aggravate us to tears. By mapping out our routes with prayer and staying focused on the path God has laid before us, we’re able to arrive at our destinations with peace of mind.
and lean not on your own understanding;
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
Your Turn: Do you have a traveling story that can be used as a metaphor for something you’re experiencing in your life? What lesson did God teach you through the journey?
P.S. Congrats to Julie Jarnagin for winning the Susan May Warren Missions of Mercy novels–Point of No Return and Mission:Out of Control and to Michelle Styles for winning Rachel Hauck’s Softly and Tenderly. Thanks again for all the great comments you all shared with me.