Driving round in circles. Paying no attention to the signs. Too busy talking to each other. This describes my route in and around the big town of Lynchburg yesterday. Now in Dallas, a wrong turn might mean quite a bit of navigating to get back to where you re supposed to be headed. Lynchburg is a good size, but not as busy or as crazy as Dallas or NoVa or other metropolitan areas.
The problem wasn’t the driving – wasn’t the signage – wasn’t the google maps directions (though this has given some strange routes lately) – the problem was Lisa. Well, okay, me too. We were talking, having a great discussion on the “Bless Every Home” informational meeting we had just participated in. We were sharing ideas, dreams, impact on EBC, and other great topics. But we weren’t paying attention.
Now to be fair, I am still trying to figure out how a road can be 501 north and 29 south at the same time. Bipolar city planning? Nevertheless, we headed in the wrong direction. And later, we missed the blue “H” sign as we headed to Lynchburg General. We recalculated, rerouted, and realigned our headings and made our next destinations.
Life is filled with detours. Sometimes that is good. It keeps us safe and away from harm. Who really wants to go over a bridge that is out? And we can learn new places, minister to different crowds, and be used in fresh ways when life gives us detours.
But sometimes detours are due to our fault (they wandered for 40 years due to lack of faith and not trusting the direction of leadership). A church, a family, and even on individual levels, can miss out on what God has for us when we are not paying attention. We need to read the times.
There was some people who helped King David – the men of Issachar (1 Chron 12.32) who had understanding of the times. Oh if we had a few of these in Washington, DC right now – but I digress. We need these people in our lives. It may be blogs, books, pastors, lay leaders – we need them.
If Lisa and I had paid attention to the signs, maybe we wouldn’t have roamed around like out-of-towners. Maybe churches wouldn’t miss ministry opportunities or leave out whole generations of members, or be so distracted in planning worship they forget to worship.
I do believe we can learn from detours, and sometimes detours are healthy; but may we never get so lost by not paying attention that we miss what God has for us right here, right now.
So open your google maps, lay out your trip, and pay attention to what’s going on around you. It just might save you from some head scratching moments.
See ya tomorrow – todd