By Michelle Self

Let’s take a drive. Ummm, maybe to Michigan? I’ve heard Lake Erie looks like an ocean from the banks of a place like Nickel Plate Beach. My Dad used to fish in Lake Erie, and I remember him saying it can be as beautiful and as treacherous as an ocean out on that lake. What do you say … are you ready for a road trip?

Proverbs 16:9

"The mind of man plans his way, 

But the Lord directs his steps."

Click Here to Add a Title

So, on this make-believe road trip we’re going to set out on, would you be a planner or do you enjoy a more spontaneous approach? I’m a little of both, I think. I love the spontaneity, but I’d like a little bit of time to consider the things I might want to pack. But either way, if we were heading to Michigan, there’s nothing we’d need we couldn’t find on the way; as my friend would say, there’s a Walmart on every corner! (Well, at least in nearly every city, anyway).

Time to get on the road, with a few necessities in the car. Which way do we go? Since I’m in Ohio, I know I’ll be heading North. That means I’ll hit I-75 and take a left to head North. Sounds great! Easy enough, right?

Oh, isn’t this how we plan things at times? Maybe not travel, we’d be so much more navigate so much more intentionally. But think about other things in our lives. Do we take time to create short- or long-term goals for ourselves? Do we consider the current place we are in our lives and evaluate if we’re where we want to be? Do we seek direction or are we on auto-pilot to a general vicinity?

I offer these questions because there are times when we fail to see the signs on the road until we are already off track and look down the road we’ve come to ask WHY rather than to plan our steps before heading out. When we find out we’re not where we hoped to be, we must be honest with ourselves and consider where we went “wrong.” But what if we didn’t make a wrong choice … in fact maybe we went wrong by NOT making a choice. We were simply moving, but not steering. We were on our way, but not taking the exits or following the (His) signs. We were so focused on leaving where we were to get to somewhere else that we didn’t take time to seek direction.

Someday, if you aren’t navigating your life with as much accuracy as you’re planning out a trip, you may wake up only to look back and wonder how you ended up where you are. Will it be after forty years in the desert like the Israelites? And will you bring your next generation of family down a path that steals from them the ability to learn how to navigate through life’s troubles? 

Nickel Plate Beach, MI

Deut. 8:11-14  

Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God ... Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God ...

Click Here to Add a Title

The forty years in which 2 million people were led out to the desert to find freedom from humans by following God. It’s not always easy to follow God. Two million people, from the day they left Egypt until they finally arrived at the Promised Land, took part in that journey over those forty years and only TWO people made it! If you read this and feel a bit of conviction, I invite you to read Deuteronomy 8. Moses shares the lessons that we can learn from their forty-year journey.​

Don’t wake up and wonder where you are and how you got there. Wake up today and determine where you are and where you want to be before the end of your life. When you identify where that is, seek the way to get there, and take time to connect with the true Navigator. When He leads, you’ll find yourself on a journey that is the road to His destination.​