There is a picture hanging above my desk that I found in an issue of Life magazine back in the 1970’s. It depicts a hapless couple in a sporty convertible stopped at a T intersection. Spread across their dashboard is a map and the driver appears to be scratching his head. Why? Because across from them is a literal wall of signs indicating roads and highways, destinations and traffic instructions; but apparently they do not match the map. Since this picture was taken long before the advent of Photoshop or digital cameras, I have every reason to believe this intersection existed at some time (although I’m sure it’s been improved by now!). Even though I’m not sure exactly where it is/was, I’ve had many people tell me it could be somewhere on Long Island. It doesn’t matter to me what the exact location was, it’s the caption on top that grabs my attention: “Life just isn’t that simple anymore.”
Life certainly can seem like an intersection with too many signs and a map that doesn’t match. You set out to travel along a road, feeling like you’re following the GPS directions without a hitch, when suddenly the journey comes to a screeching halt and you have no clue where you are! Wouldn’t it be nice to always know where you are and where you must go?
Real life Triptiks, GPS and Mapquest can be faulty and laden with mistakes. They are only as good as the human hands that typed them into the computer or satellite system. The best directions you can get, of course, are given those by someone who has been “there” (that is wherever you are going). Jeff and I still get a chuckle over the time his brother was coming to visit us. We’d warned him that GPS systems did not work well in the Poconos, but he insisted on using it rather than the directions I’d given him. About 30 minutes after his expected arrival time we received a phone call from him stating the GPS had brought him to an entirely different location. “Why did you use that when we told you it wouldn’t work?” Jeff asked. Followers of Christ do not have to worry about faulty directions. The writer of Hebrews put it this way, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:14-16)
Life throws us a lot of roads to navigate. However we have several “tools” at our disposal to use as a navigation system. First we have God’s Word and God Himself (Ps. 119:105; Pr. 3:1-6). We also have the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:25-26). We have other believers who set an example for us (Phil. 3:17; 2 Thes. 3:6-9). But most importantly, as the author of Hebrews noted, we have Jesus. He has been where we are and He knows where we should be going. Just as He called His disciples, He calls us to follow Him too (Mt. 4:19; 8:22; 9:9; Mk. 1:7; 2:14; Lk. 5:27; Jn. 1:43; Rev. 3:20) so that we can arrive at our destination. The cost of discipleship (that is following Jesus) may appear to be difficult or demanding (Jn. 18:22; Phil. 3:7-8), but the destination and rewards are far greater (Jn. 1:50; 14: 1-6, 11-12; Rev. 3:21).
As disciples of Jesus, we do not have to wander aimlessly on the road of life or end up at a T intersection with no clue as to which way we should turn. We can look to Jesus for direction and guidance. He can show us the way to go, because He Himself has been where we are and He knows which path to take. Unlike those human resources we use for our daily travels, His information and guidance is perfect. When you come upon an intersection in your life that makes you feel like the poor folks in that old picture, remember Jesus is waiting for you to turn to Him. He will give you the right directions to your destination (1 Thes. 5:9-10) and make you more than ready for the road ahead (Phil. 3:12-14; Heb. 12:1-2).
Ann H. LeFevre, M. Div
https://www.annhlefevre.com; Olivetreeann@mail.com; https://www.linkedin.com/in/annhlefevre; https://www.facebook.com/ann.h.lefevre