Monday, October 11, 2010

♥ The Scenic Route

A short conversation with a certain amazing girl I know prompted this blog. As with most things I write, I've been mulling over this one for a while. And the more I think about it, the more I have to say. Pardon me if the thoughts that spill out onto this post seem scattered.

What she said: "...totally made me think of “Jesus Take the Wheel,” because really, he’s been taking you on a pretty decent scenic route lately, hasn’t he? :)"

You know, HE HAS. Perhaps not by His own choice (or His first choice, I should say) but when I take into account how my life is turning out, how its trail matches that of Billy from Family Circus, I cannot help but wonder if God really does like the scenic route. If He does enjoy riding along with me and working out all my wrong turns into something that I'll be able to look back on and realize how nice of a drive it really turned out to be. Only because He’s the Navigator.

Of course He would love it if we listened to Him after His first word; if our obedience were outmatched only by our swiftness to obey; if pride were more easily swallowed than chomped on over and over... but, He dealt with that from "Go!" didn't He? He knew, before we knew, that the shortest point from A to B would not be taken. "Aha," He might've thought, "I rather enjoy a road trip and lessons learned along the way." He cares about our getting to the destination He has for us, but not more than the journey it takes to make us the person we need to be when we get there.

That's what He has done to me, anyway. Could have I avoided pain and suffering and sorrow and struggle and heartache? Yes. Would I be the person I am today? Probably not. Because faith requires the aforementioned elements to be made into something solid and substantial. Ladies and gentleman, I haz faith.

Let me clarify that the scenic route might not always be what God wants for our lives. He requires obedience and He requires a life wholly surrendered to Him. His desire is not for us to succumb to sin and have to deal with the consequences (which inevitably cause us to go down that bunny-trail… away from Him) but for us to live as He asks us to. All that being said, and as I’ve said before, I believe that He will allow us to make our stupid decisions because He sees down the road and He sees how He will be able to shape us, using the scenic route.

On the other side of the road (ha, get it? cause I’m talking about routes?) even if we are completely surrendered to His will and are taking each step only at this direction… He still uses the winding paths to get us where we’re going, to mold us more and more into His image. We may think that the way He is leading us is absurd and a waste of time and energy but all the while He is accomplishing exactly what He had intended- the whole time.

I think of all the stories in the Bible where God used a wrong turn, a mistake, a bad choice to bring about total awesomeness:

Joseph? Little (mouthy) brother turned slave turned prisoner turned leader turned savior of his people!

Abraham? The promise given to him of innumerable descendants wasn’t even started until he was ninety-nine!

David had to fight lions and bears and giants and kings before he himself was promoted to King of Israel.

Esther was an orphan, raised by her uncle, and endured countless beauty-pageants (some might say this was an absurd scenic route?) before her time of saving her people was brought about.

This scenic route? It has brought me a deeper hunger, a closer empathy for others who are also going in circles. It has shown me the good that can come out of being patient and understanding my own inability to be in control and, really, my own inability to make good choices without His influence. I’ve mentioned before how I have seen Him as my master mixer, taking the good the bad and the ugly parts of my life and turning them for my good: the very definition of my scenic route.

This video has been stuck in my head for the last few days and I feel that it holds a powerful message to more than just waiting for love. Waiting for God to take you through the route that He chooses will be only to your benefit. Only to His glory.

The pressure makes us stronger
. The struggle makes us hunger. 
The hard lessons make the difference...


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