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Preserved by Purpose: Stay the Course…and Follow God’s Directions

“You are on the fastest route despite heavier than normal traffic.”   After hearing my GPS calmly state this as I was staring at a line of red brake lights ahead me on the highway, I chuckled and told her that she was wrong this time.    It looked like the route I was on was the worst one.    Then I laughed again because I realized I was talking to the GPS and was so glad no one else was in the car.   My GPS stated again that my exit was at least ½ mile away and with the long line of cars ahead of me it seemed like it would take me an hour to get to my destination.  So, I got off on the next exit which was less than 200 feet away.

Shewanda Riley

It took the GPS a few minutes to recalculate the directions but she kept trying to get me back on the highway.   Now that I was on the highway service road, I sailed along and looked to the left laughing at the poor people stuck in traffic.     While I was driving, the GPS kept directing me back on the highway which I refused to do because I knew that I was now on the fastest route.   Then, it happened:  a slow down on the service road, and now instead of me flying by the cars on the highway, they were now flying by me and everyone else who made the mistake of taking the service road.

At this point, I expected the GPS voice to mock me and say “I told you to stay on the highway.  That’s what you get for not listening.”  Instead, the GPS came back on and said “In 200 feet, take a left.”    This time, I listened to her directions and was able to make it home but it was 30 minutes after the original time that the GPS predicted.    I only had myself to blame for wasting time and having to take the scenic route.

This reminded me of how I’ve sometimes gotten off track from the path that God has designed for me simply because I wanted to do it my way. Never mind that God is the creator of the universe and knows the plans for my life, the end from the beginning.  I’ve made the mistake of figuring that my finite mind knew a better plan.    And just like I had to do with the GPS, I’ve had to recalculate and get back on the path that God has created for me.   Proverbs 4:25-27 encourages us to remain focused on God’s path: “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left….”     God’s plan is always safer and more exciting than the scenic route also known as the path of disobedience.

Shewanda Riley is a Dallas, Texas based author of “Love Hangover: Moving From Pain to Purpose After a Relationship Ends” and “Writing to the Beat of God’s Heart: A Book of Prayers for Writers.”   Email her at preservedbypurpose@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter @shewanda.



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