“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
I was thinking about this verse as a friend and I drove along endless county roads in north-centralWisconsin. According to the GPS guiding us along, we were within ten miles of our destination, but it sure didn’t appear to be so. We had left the main highway to follow county road after county road, and it seemed like we would never reach the end of our drive.
Just as we were about to give up hope, the GPS announced a turn up ahead and we took it… a bit reluctantly. And suddenly, there we were! We rounded the last turn and came face-to-face with our colleague’s home. What had seemed to be the round-about, scenic route had brought us where we needed to be after all.
Do you ever feel like this scenario plays out in life? Sometimes it may feel as if we have to endure something difficult and go through several tedious steps until we can finally accomplish a goal. Often, we can become impatient, just wanting to get there and find some kind of completion or understanding. But frequently, we are left hanging, wondering why certain things happen to divert our progress.
This past weekend as my friend and I traveled, I contemplated my own diverted pathway in the scheme of life. In the coming days, I would be sharing special music at a church, and this particular date in time had been arranged months in advance. At the time when we first entertained the idea of traveling to this church, I was preparing to jump into a whole new musical venture. I was excited to be given the opportunity to perform and share my music on a larger scale, and participating in the worship services at this church seemed like a logical component.
But then, everything I had counted on fell through, and I was left hanging. My musical journey had been diverted, and I had no idea what to do next. At that time, God took me down a road with new challenges and unexpected opportunities. Instead of performing concerts and selling records, I was leading praise and worship and agreeing to employment at my home church.
At first, I was slightly disappointed; it almost felt as if I was letting go of a dream. In many respects, it was as if the car I was riding in had left the main road and was now traveling down seemingly endless country roads. I had no idea where I was going, and in many ways, I was confused, much like our experience with the GPS.
But then I began to see God’s plan unfold, and the route became clear. He was showing me His plans for my life, and although they were nothing like I had imagined, they were real, true, and right. I had never felt more at home than at the front of the church sanctuary, leading God’s people in worship. There was something incredible about joining in with other voices and praising His name on a corporate level; no other concert or performance had ever held such significance for me.
I had thought I had figured it all out; I thought I knew the route. But like the GPS, God diverted me and I began to go another way. I learned many lessons along the way, and in the end, God brought me exactly where He had called me to be. Eventually, I reached my destination… just not in the way I had expected. Sometimes, we just have to take the scenic route because there’s no other way.