I've been thinking about directions lately. Being "directionally impaired" myself, I have learned to be "landmark sensitive" and I force myself to pay attention when going to places I am likely to travel to again. Knowing where you are is very important, lest you end up somewhere you had no intention of being and have no idea how to figure out how to get yourself back.
My sister, Linda, taught English in France several years ago, and I remember her mentioning that some of the real trouble was in explaining how to translate some American sayings that involve directions. Sayings like, "what's up?" or "feeling down" just seemed to be a little more challenging to explain.
In our lives...there are times when we find ourselves going in all directions simultaneously. Life feels like it is on the highest speed, and we do the best that we can to keep it all together. Other times, we seem focused and know that we are on the right track.
The strange thing is that you can go from one path to another in a flash. You can go from being completely confused about which way to go...to being sure. Or from being sure of your path...to being overwhelmed with your life, and without the energy or inspiration to get yourself righted again.
I tend to think that all of us have a wonderful pilot in our Lord if we are believers...and excellent co-pilots in the friends, associates, and family members that share this journey called life with us. It is up to us, though, to ask for help...to realize that someone else may have more experience, knowledge, or information that will keep us off of those back streets or driving in circles unnecessarily.
Right now, I am feeling a little bit confused about what to do in a couple areas of my life. I am consulting my Garmin (God), reading the maps (my life experiences), and checking the vitals (timing, truth, and priorities). I want to head out on the journey in A) the right direction and B) with the proper tools for the journey. I also know that it is entirely possible that whatever I believe the right thing to be could be a dead end.
Life is funny that way. We prepare...and then we find ourselves somewhere far from where we intended. Lost. Confused. And then something changes. We get the missing piece of information. We receive the inspiration to think of something in a different way. We figure out where we are...and where we are headed.
I think that a common joke is that most men refuse to stop and ask for directions. There is possibly a grain of truth in that, but isn't that true of everyone?
Most of us plan what we are going to do with our lives beginning in our teens. One of the most common questions that young people are asked is..."what are you going to major in at the University?" or "what training are you looking to receive in technical school (or the military)?" A year ago...the biggest decisions facing these same kinds was whether or not to run for treasurer of the Student Council and what color dress to wear to the Prom. Now, whether to head into training for business, engineering, law, medicine, cosmetology, truck driving, education, the ministry, or art has to be started around the time of high school graduation.
This also explains why so many of them are "undecided." Talent takes time to develop, passion is often sparked by experience, and training often tells us as often which direction we don't want to go far more frequently than it tells us the way that we do.
Later in life, we decide where to live, who to love or marry, who are friends are, where we will work, and whether to pursue parenthood. We may get an advanced degree, travel, or choose to waste our time or potential. It is true that some people are focused from the cradle, and others will never pull it together in the eyes of others.
But the direction of our lives is - fortunately - not important in the eyes of others. What is important is God's view of how we spent our time here. To avoid being "directionally impaired" - it is necessary to check in through prayer, and read the directions (the Bible) to figure it all out properly. And although we may have to turn around and go another direction from time to time...there really is no excuse for being totally "directionally impaired"...in this life, anyway. Later!