Last week, I had the privilege of speaking at a church camp in Wisconsin (or Wis-cAAAAn-sin, if you want to pronounce it like a local). Camp has played such an important role in my life, and I will always cherish an opportunity to pour into students in this context. Suffice it to say, I was excited to be asked to fly out and do just that. However, traveling to Wisconsin would prove to be a bit of a headache.
I don’t want to give any airline a bad name, so I won’t tell you the name of the airline I traveled with (but for the sake of this post, let’s just call this airline “Delta Airlines”). My initial flight schedule was canceled by the airline a month prior to leaving, and the airline booked me on flights that didn’t fit the camp schedule very well. The only way to get there on time was to go the scenic route.
Instead of flying straight to Wisconsin, I flew from Sacramento, to Los Angeles, then to Detroit, and finally to Madison, Wisconsin. So I went South, away from Wisconsin, then east, flying past Wisconsin, and finally, west, back to Wisconsin. Looking at a map would tell you that this is clearly not the best route to take when traveling from Sacramento to Madison. Some people say life is not about the destination, but the journey… I would just say that these people aren’t 6’3″ trying to sleep on red-eye flights.
Too often, following Jesus is a lot like my opinions about my recent flight path. I know where I am starting, and I know what God wants for me, but I think I have this better way to get there than what is laid out for me. I try to devise a plan that makes more sense to me, but generally that is out of a place of either selfishness or laziness. Jesus said that He was the way, but if I’m honest, these times prove that I think there is a better way a lot of the time; and my way is always more comfortable for me. All the while, I justify myself by saying something that sounds spiritual in hopes that I can convince myself my way is better.
I think this is why a lot of us think we have a better grasp on God’s plan for us than even God does; ultimately, we think we are smarter than God when it comes to our life. We never say those words, and probably never would, but our actions state that we believe we are smarter than God… that we understand our lives better than the creator. We know what we want, and we try to convince ourselves that is actually what God wants.
Here is the bottom line: God’s path, as indirect as we think it is, is for a purpose. God sometimes allows us to take a different way than we think in order to grow you into the person He has created us to be; a person who is more passionate and effective for the gospel. This comes through understanding God’s goodness when we need to rely solely on that goodness. When we take God’s path for our lives, as wrong as we feel it is, we can know that we will reach our destination. God doesn’t set us up to fail. Philippians 1:6 is all about that:
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
As much as I wanted to wait for a more direct flight plan, I knew that doing so would not get me to Wisconsin in time to speak… And this is just how God works. As much as we can’t make sense of it, we can know that He will get us there. Our job isn’t to see our spiritual life from the position of a travel agent. We aren’t arranging the path to what God has for us. That’s God’s job. Our job is to trust what He is doing, and taking our next step. He will work out the details. God is faithful, and that never changes.
Trust the process. Take your next step. Now is your moment.