Before I left Minnesota to drive to Riverton, Wyoming, I entered the destination address in Google Maps. Google Maps calculated my route, estimated my arrival time, and verbally gave me turn-by-turn directions before I had to make them. I followed the directions each and every turn for the first 200 miles. When I made my last turn onto Interstate 90 that would take me across South Dakota, the nice voice on Google Maps told me to drive for 398 miles. So I started to drive those 398 miles. Somewhere between “Nowhere” and “Out There” I saw a large billboard sign on the side of the interstate that demanded that I turn right even though Google Maps indicated I should stay on the road I was on. The sign said “Turn Right Now.” That was literally all it said. Whatever used to reveal why a person should turn right was long gone. All that was there now were the three words “Turn Right Now” boldly temping me to stray off course. I looked to the left and saw grasslands and rolling hills as far as my eyes could see. Then I looked to the right and I saw more grasslands and rolling hills as far as my eyes could see. I did see an exit, but there was nothing around the exit at all. No gas station, no restaurant, no special historical plaque or marker worthy of turning right for. Although tempted to turn right, I made the executive decision to stay on course. Who knows, I may have passed up free gold or a great steak dinner. I guess I will just have to live with the tension that comes from not knowing why someone wanted me to turn right. The only reason why I was tempted to turn right when I saw the sign was because I had spent the past two hundred miles driving through some desolate country and was a little bored.
In a spiritual sense, Jesus calls believers to journey with him because he knows your destination and wants to lead you to it. There will be plenty of people or situations that will tempt you to veer off course, especially when you are a little bored, but Jesus wants you to stay focused and to not get distracted by the myriad of pointless activities that lead you away from Christ. Some of the temptations to veer off course are powerful, like pursuing pleasure to get your adrenaline fix or sacrificing your family to chase fantasies. But in the end, they will lead you down a dead end road and who knows how far you will stray before you come to the end.
Here is my advice for you. Whatever path you are traveling right now, make sure you are traveling it with Jesus. Don’t invite him to join you on your journey, that’s like telling Google Maps when you are going to turn. Rather, pursue Him and his destiny for you, then align your life to His will and proceed. He will tell you when you need to turn, stop, rest, or keep going.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”