TITLE: Where are you leading me God?
By Chris Stanley
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Where are you taking me God?
As you know, since I committed my life to you, my desire has always been to follow you. I want to be the man that you have called me to be. Apprentice to the Messiah, Jesus Christ is what my heart longs for. Looking at this life I see many adventures with even more potential pitfalls along the paths, but an amazing “retirement” in the end.
Discovering your plan for my life was an adventure in and of itself, yet it brought a sense of accomplishment in my spiritual journey. It was as if I reached a major milestone. I feel as if I was a high school student approaching graduation. As I walked across the stage and shook my principal’s hand and accepted my diploma I then moved the tassel over my mortar board. Frozen in time for just a second, yet for all of eternity all at the same time I realized high school is over. No matter what hurdles or achievements I encountered, I merely received my high school diploma just the same as everyone else graduating that day, that year, and any year previous or year afterwards. In that moment I knew my journey was actually just beginning. Oddly enough, that is to say that I felt as though it was odd, the cycle repeated itself when I graduated college as though another milestone came and went in an instant.
So, let’s get back to finding your plan for my life. Wholeheartedly I believe that I am where you want me to be, doing what you want me to be doing. Yet, like walking across the stage to receive my diploma, I have to move my tassel. Doing so, I see that I reached a milestone but yet now a new milestone is before me. While one portion of my journey is over a new one is beginning.
I am ready for adventure, ready for action, ready for hurdles, potential pitfalls, and though I know I will have difficulties, struggles, and will often “fall off the horse” I also know that when I do fall I will be ready to get up, dust the dirt off and get back to the course you set before me. I have my bags packed, I have my suit of armor on, my sword in hand, my heart steeps with anticipation, and I am ready for adventure. I even have my map and my guide, which I believe you gave me as your “plan for my life.” I am ready to go!
If the destination you have for me is the highest mountain, with guaranteed frostbite, then I say “let’s go!” If you rather I go to the lowest valley, in the mist of the harshest desert with no water, then I say “I’m ready when you are.” If instead your plan is for me to navigate the deepest cave, with nothing more than a five gallon bucket for a toilet, then I say “what are we waiting for.” If I am to plunge into unheard of depths in the ocean, where the Bends disease is inevitable, I say “I’m on my way.” If your plan is for me to go to the modern day Nineveh, with enemies at every corner, then I say “with you on my side there’s nothing stopping us!” I see your plan for my life and the destination does not matter. As long as I have faith and trust that you are God then I truly am ready for any adventure.
I do, however, have one issue. As I forge ahead, by your grace, by your strength, by your endurance, I tackle the terrain. I am by your hand lead through the trials and difficulties of the adventure. Periodically I pause to look back and I see how immense your grace, strength, and endurance have been. Had I not personally been on the adventure with you, I would have never believed the things you delivered me through. Just then though, I glance ahead at what remains of the journey and it is just as far away as when we started.
If we are to climb the highest mountain, why does the peek keep getting higher and higher? If we are to visit the lowest valley, why does it keep getting lower? If we are to descend into the deepest cave, why does it keep getting deeper? If we are to go to modern day Nineveh, why do the enemies multiply exponentially with every step I take? If we are to dive the ocean why does the water seem to rise above me before I take my first step? At every look at the map, the “X” that marks the spot moves inches across the map. At every glance at my guide, the destination is further and further away. It is the proverbial “two steps forward, one step back” or in this case it seems like two steps forward, and three steps back.
In high school I knew that at the end of twelfth grade I would receive my diploma. In college knew that at the end of my degree programs I would receive the respective diplomas. I know that in my career, after certain accomplishments I may receive promotions and raises. Yet, in this part of your plan for my life I feel like it is unachievable.
In my weakness you promise strength. In my stupidity you promise wisdom. Even still I do not comprehend why when I look at the finish line it keeps getting farther away, always moving, always on the horizon. No matter how many steps I take, the finish line is never one step closer.
Intellectually I think I have an idea of what is going on. I look at the plan you have for me and I apply my personal experience, my knowledge, my wisdom, my logic, and my worldview to it. Therefore, I see the map and guide only through my perspective. In that act I fail to acknowledge that your ways are higher than mine and that your wisdom is greater than mine, that your experience spans all of eternity (past, present, and future), and that you are not a God of human logic. You are a God of godly logic, how can I ever expect to grasp your plan in its entirety?
I feel much like my understanding of Job when he asked you “Why?” You responded by asking where he was during creation. I know I am human, I know I have flaws, I know you are God. But I must be honest. I must be upfront. I struggle. I do not understand. I feel ready and willing for anything, I just wish to know what I am in for ahead of time. Why am I able to see you in my past victories, and why can I see that you are with me every step of the way, but why do the steps ahead seem so far, growing ever so distant? Why doesn’t my destination remain stationary once we begin the journey?
Where are you taking me God? Please continue to help me on our journey!
In your son’s name,
(signed) Your faithful and sinful servant
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