After a huge barbecue at my sister’s house, a large group of us went for a walk. We followed my brother-in-law’s lead on a winding trail across a field, through a wooded area down to the river, back through the woods and across another field, and onto the neighborhood street.
The walk brought back childhood memories of being gone all day during the summer, exploring uncultivated areas, creating forts in the woods, and munching on wild mulberries.
As a child, I didn’t plan my day. I got up in the morning, and rode my bike to a friend’s house or to the drug store or to a new place to explore. Whatever “good idea” popped up, I’d pursue, looking for something interesting and fun to do.
As I got older, these strange new questions started to pop in my head: “Who am I? Where am I going? What am I doing?”
I thought these were questions that I would figure out and have answered by the time I was an adult. I’m not sure how I got the idea that people choose a college major, get a job, and are settled on a specific path the rest of their lives.
In my 10+ years as an adult, I’ve come to realize that life just doesn’t work that way. I don’t go along with the commencement speaker who told the high school graduates they could become whatever they wanted to be.
What if I wanted to be a pro basketball player? With a height of 5’3” and about 50% on the free throw line, I don’t stand much of a chance. What if I wanted to be a Broadway star? With a voice that can’t get a solo in the church choir and dance skills that are just passable in community theatre, it’s not likely to happen.
Life is simply a series of choices. Based on your experience and education, you make the best choices you can in each situation. When you have a desire or goal, you make a proactive decision to line up your choices to get to that goal.
I believe God gives each person passions and experiences to point him or her in a specific direction. Like a good GPS, He is available to give directions along the way. More than that, He can help set up circumstances to point us the right direction. Even if we get off track or choose a different path, He’s always there to provide guidance. The thing is, we still have to drive the car to get to where we want to go. We can’t just wait for good things to happen.
If my brother-in-law hadn’t been there today, I very easily could have lost my way and been no more than a half mile from my destination. Since I trusted him, I let him lead the way, even though I wasn’t sure where I was going. The path was unexpected, but it was the right way for me. I hope I can be just as successful in life, following God’s way.