I remember when I was a kid, road trips baffled me. We used to commute back and forth through San Antonio to our home in Kerrville, Texas. I was always confused that my dad took a particular exit: I-10 to El Paso. We’d get on this road to El Paso, and I never understood it. “Dad, we aren’t going to El Paso. We’re going to Kerrville. Why are we on this road?”
I thought just because the road sign said El Paso, that’s the only place it led. It turns out, Kerrville was on the way to El Paso – along with tons of other towns and stops and exits.
Following the dreams God placed in our heart often feels a lot like that. It can often be confusing, but I believe there’s a rhyme and reason to it. Here are three things this little example illustrates about following God-given goals.
1. God-given dreams are often directions, not destinations.
I believe God gives us directions, not necessarily exact destinations. He tells us to head toward El Paso, but that’s not ultimately where He wants us to end up.
That can be frustrating for us, because we start planning our lives around the concept of El Paso. We estimate the amount of time it should take to end up at our destination. We plan our lives around it. Unfortunately, God had different plans for us – a different exit. And even that road might lead to Johnson City, but that doesn’t mean that’s where we’ll end up either.
Don’t get so tied to the direction that you aren’t willing to change course when God tells you to. I guarantee His destination will be far better than El Paso.
2. God-given dreams might look like others’, but they aren’t.
Along the road to El Paso, you’ll find tons of cars all around you. They’re all heading down the same road. In this illustration, you’d think it crazy if I was worried that one car exited while I went on ahead. Of course they’re heading different places. We aren’t all on the same journey.
Yet so often we freak out in life when we notice people taking different detours than we do. Maybe they got a promotion. Or they got a fantastic opportunity. Or they got the book deal.
Even though we might intersect with other lives, it doesn’t mean we’re living the same journey. God has a unique path for you. Let others exit when they need. Don’t worry about it. You exit when God tells you to exit.
We can’t compare our journey to someone else’s. That’s a scary notion, because we don’t always know where God’s leading us. But trust that God is a flawless GPS. He won’t give you bad directions. You just need to trust and obey.
Don’t compare. Don’t get too stuck on one road. Just trust. Obey. And enjoy the journey.