June 4, 2012

Asking Directions

When our airplane landed in Charlotte, the sun was just setting. In the darkness, I quickly lost my sense of direction. By the time we navigated our way through the airport figuring out that our ticket was wrong and then claiming our luggage, I was lost. As we drove our rental car out into the night, I had no idea what direction we were going. Without the compass on the dash of the car, I could only guess.

Men are supposed to be notorious for not wanting to ask directions, but I can be like that too. I can think that I know the way or know how to do something, and then get myself in a hopeless situation where I have to ask someone else how to get out of it. Getting lost is one thing, but steadfastly refusing to ask for help is pride.

The Bible is filled with examples of prideful people who would not ask for help, but it also offers examples of what works far better. David didn’t always go to God first, but when he did, God was always ready to give direction.
And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” (2 Samuel 5:19)
Today’s reading reminds me that if I want to know the right way to serve God, it is logical to ask Him about it. He is my compass to steer my through storms as well. When I think of those many times I could have avoided the pitfalls I fell into, I bow my head in regret. If only I had asked for direction.

A Puritan said, “As sure as ever a Christian carves for himself he’ll cut his own fingers.” This is so true. Any time that I strike out into anything, I can avoid failure and disaster by realizing that I don’t know everything and therefore take all my perplexities to God. Even if I am certain that I know what to do, He is wiser and can see what I cannot see. He will guide me in ways that I never considered so I must also ask even when I think that I know what I am doing.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5–6)

Lord, we take no great steps today, or launch out into vital things (at least as far as I can see). We are going shopping and going to meet an Internet friend. It seems a low-stress day with not many important decisions. However, You have shown me that even the ordinary days can be extraordinary when I ask for and receive Your direction. You take me places and give me decisions that change ho-hum to delight and self-focus into praise for You. Because of Your invitation, I am asking for Your direction for this day. May I acknowledge You in everything we do --- asking for guidance about the route we take, the stores we stop in, the words we speak, and for all decisions in all that we do.

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