The boys and I were actually up before sunrise several months ago- we were going hunting. It has been years since Alex and I have been able to go dove hunting and this would actually be Allister's first hunt. I think I was more excited than they were as we began to prepare several weeks out- Alex would come home on Sunday afternoon and we would all be prepped and ready for an early morning hunt on Labor Day.
Alex actually won a Men's Skeet Tournament when only 10, so I knew he could shoot, but Allister has been more of a city slicker. I didn't know whether he was ready or not to use my Dad's 20 Gauge, but he was excited as we got shells, cloths and guns ready for the "big hunt." We cleaned guns, bought licenses and new gear, and began to count down to opening day of Dove Season.
A good friend in our area offered a great 40 acre spot not too far to drive and all was set.
I even set the coordinates in my GPS the night before because we were getting up so early to be there by sun-up. It was still dark when we piled in the truck, stopped and grabbed coffee and biscuits and headed out. But there was a problem- we had never been to where we were going!
We had an exact address and thought all was well until we pulled up to an old deserted house blocked by a gate that had a "Posted-No Hunting" sign in bright yellow. I called my friend and said we are here, but evidently "here" is not "there." We had been led to a place, but not the place we had been promised. The GPS had actually taken us on the wrong side of the Interstate, we were on the same road but on the opposite side from our destination. We were at the right address but not the correct destination.
To make matters worse, I had been in such a hurry to beat sunrise that I hadn't noticed how low the gas gauge was until the warning light came on. Now we're lost, the sun is coming up and we're almost out of gas!
Now, what do you do when the map in your hand doesn't match the road signs of your life? When your all out out of gas- e.g.; hope,faith,energy, etc? As believers, we hold promises and directions in our hands every day! We are led by Gods Word and His Holy Spirit. We are encouraged by sermons, songs and prophetic Words in our own spirits and many that have been confirmed by others we trust. But what do you do when you have faithfully followed the directions you were given and find yourself on the side of the road of life almost empty,confused and lost? When do you admit you feel like you misunderstood or misinterpreted what God was telling you?
The first thing I had to do was to realize that where I had arrived, was not where I wanted to go. I had to desire my destination more than proving the point that the GPS had directed me wrong. It seems that many feel they have no reverse and are destined to stay where life has taken them. No! As long as there is breath, there is choice. We must choose to leave where we are, so we can go to where we really wanted to go in the first place.
The second thing I had to do was find a place to refuel before I could go on the rest of the journey. In our case the closest gas station was a 7 mile detour from the direction we were wanting to go. But if we hadn't taken the time for the detour we would have been stuck in the middle of nowhere. Is it possible we may have to seemingly go off our path in order to refuel? Sometimes rest and regrouping doesn't come so easily on the busy paths of life, but may require stopping for a while and refueling and resting. We even got some honey buns and snacks that we previously hadn't packed.
Lastly, I had to connect with someone who was actually at the destination where I wanted to go. Our friend just laughed and admitted that others had made the same mistake. The only way he had found it was that someone had actually taken him there the first time. I totally believe that as many as are led by the Spirit are the Sons of God, but I also firmly believe God uses people. The Apostle Paul admonished to follow him as he followed Christ. Has God allowed someone to go before you? Is it time to find a mentor?
This is an area where Steph and I are growing this year. There are places we feel called to that we may need someone who's already there to help us find the way. I also had to be willing to reverse and backtrack some of the journey until I was repositioned at a recognizable point of origin so that my friend could redirect me from there.
In the past few years I have met hundreds that are frustrated and even at the point of bitterness and despair because they are not where the thought were headed. So here's what I'm learning- stop, regroup, reverse, refuel, redirect and reconnect.