Ever feel like your life is traveling along a certain path then out of the blue you slam into a road block or dead end. Sure, your minding your own business, pursing your own dreams and there it is a sign post stuck in the middle of the road informing you that you can’t continue on in the direction you were hoping to go.
Annoying isn’t it! Of course it is, after all we all want to be productive and feel like we’re contributing to some greater good. When we hit one of these obstacles we begin to feel like everything we just poured our heart and soul into was for nothing. We feel a sense of wasted time. We often become frustrated and angry, we may even cry out in desperation especially when it seems that our way has been salt and peppered with these disturbing signs all along our way.
What do we do? Stop, sit and wait, hoping that the road up ahead of us will be cleared of any debris so we can continue on? That’s what some of us do and the waiting turns into months, years or even decades while our dreams and life purpose gathers dust.
On the other hand, we could back track. That is we could back up, retrace our steps and try to discover where we went wrong. Perhaps we misread the map. We question ourselves wondering if we took a wrong turn. We may even wonder if our destination was right to begin with. So, we end up going around and around perhaps even in circles or worse yet finding ourselves right back at the same road block or dead end. We spend our energies on the wrong things and we worry, fret and become worn out.
Still, we could try another direction, perhaps we consider taking the right hand turn or maybe the left side would be better. We consider, which we like best and step out not knowing if this is the right way to get to where we wanted to go but we’re decisive and we’ve made up our mind, after all something is better than nothing or so we think. We may wander around and make a few missteps as we navigate this uncharted way but we keep telling ourselves we’re making progress. In the end, a luck few actually find their way and reach their destinations. However, for most they end up lost in a wilderness, starved for some satisfaction in life. They may even find themselves at another road block or dead end along the way and so they try another method to move past it.
But I ask - is there another alternative? Yes, the answer is to realize that the journey is not yours. What do I mean by that? I mean that what you thought was your dream, your purpose, your goal or your whatever is not yours! It’s someone else’s! “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself:” (Romans 14:7 kjv)
This one phrase in the bible has become quite famous and is quoted all around the world. Although many don’t know where it comes from, most understand that it means that we are connected to something larger than ourselves. For those who don’t know it’s source, they think that we are only connected to others around us and that we must live for the greater good of others. However, for those who realize that it is a saying that originates from God directly, we understand also that while yes we are connected to others we are first and foremost connected directly to God. We were both created by and redeemed by Him. Therefore we are not our own.
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” (1-Corinthians 6:20 kjv) You see this quote indicates that everything that makes us, well us, is in fact owned by God, both our physical body and our spiritual being.
He owns our body because he created it, gives it breath and life and sustains it’s function. Just try to make yourself grow an inch by yourself or try to exist without the air He’s provided, or better yet try to go on without your heart beating on it’s own. You see God owns your body. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1-Corinthians 6:19 kjv)
God also owns your spirit. Sure it was a wild one and it may have even got away for a while from God because you wanted to be “free”. But your so called “freedom” led you into doing things you thought you would never have done before. It has depraved, starved and destroyed things in your life. It has left you feeling empty, lonely and wanting more, but to come back to God your spirit needs to be purchased because your “freedom” in reality has actually been slavery to sin (just read Romans Chapter 6 for further clarification). “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed (bought back) with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” (1-Peter 1:15-19 kjv)
Therefore, if we are not our own, we are actually God’s when we ask Him to forgive us and to cleanse our hearts, then our journey also stops being ours but now is God’s. In other words we go where He leads, we eat what He feeds, we do what He wants us to do, it’s now all about Him and not about you!
So when we encounter a road block or a dead end in our life we should pause for a moment and reflect on the fact that it isn’t there to annoy us. Rather, it is God’s way of communicating to us that there may be danger up ahead or that we need to rethink our situation. Instead of reacting in our own will we should offer up a prayer and ask God what He wants us to do since it’s His journey anyway. There may be times He has us wait for the obstacle to be removed or the road to be repaired. Other times He may have us make a turn to the right or left but He will guide us and tell us specifically which way to go if we listen closely. “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21 kjv) Sometimes God may even have us back up and get things right in our lives before we proceed.
No matter what God’s plan is for our lives, we can rest assured that any road blocks or dead ends are only temporary and that they all serve a purpose in fulfilling that plan. I would encourage you today to re-examine your journey. If you have been living life thinking that it’s all about where you’re going then you may feel frustrated by the obstacles in your way, however if you understand that the journey is not yours anyway then you can trust the one who gives your life purpose and who also sees the map from a higher perspective. Also you can see the road blocks or dead ends not as obstacles but rather loving clues from your heavenly creator and redeemer!