As we begin a New Year, I was reminded of an event a few years ago.
It had been a busy Saturday as I had been in a meeting most of the day and I was ready to get home. The drive home was about three and half-hours.
After traveling about a hour the female voice on my GPS, my wife in a box as my wife calls her, informed me there was an accident on I-40. This would cause about a 20 minutes delay if I stayed on the current route. However, another route was found that would route me around the accident – if I wanted to take it press ‘Accept.’ Well, I wanted to get home as quickly as possible, so I pressed ‘Accept.’
After traveling the new route for a few minutes, the lady on the GPS stated she had found a faster route, did I want to accept. Well, what do you think! I want to get home, so why wouldn’t I take a route that is faster, so once again I pressed ‘Accept’ for the faster route.
The GPS lady then proceeded to instruct me to turn down a road that went into the country in areas I probably have never been in the state – beautiful farm country. Then she wanted me to turn on another country road. Then another. Then another.
After several miles of turning down these country roads I started to get a little frustrated and I said aloud, “Where are you taking me!” It was then I notice this big red octagonal sign that said STOP! that seemed to pop up out of the ground like in one of those video games. I was so close I didn’t have time to react. I did one of those quick left-to-right looks to see if another car was coming as I blew right through the stop sign at about 50 miles per hour. As I looked in the review mirror to see if the local Deputy Sheriff was watching, I thanked God He had not allowed someone to be coming through the intersection at the same time.
That’s when God reminded me, He puts Stop Signs in our lives from time to time. A familiar passage to many of us came to mind, Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” Sometimes in life when we are on a path that may seem strange and uncertain maybe that is a warning to us that we need to slow down and possibly even stop and listen to God.
I was reminded that God is constantly changing our visions and direction in the different seasons of our lives just like the GPS did that day on my trip home. Sometimes we are in such a rush to get to the next adventure, like I was to get home that day, we fail to see the warnings signs that God is giving us to STOP, “Be still and know that I am God.”
If we rush through those spiritual stop signs it could lead to disastrous consequences, just like that physical stop sign I ran through on that country road. Fortunately, the only consequence for me was the quickening of the pitter-patter of my heartbeat for a few moments. But it could have been much worse. Not only for myself, but for my family and the individual and their family if I had hit someone.
When we run through God’s spiritual stop signs the consequences could also affect those around us, not just us.
If you feel uncertain or flustered with events in your life maybe God is holding up a spiritual Stop Sign. If decisions are hard and you cannot get a sense of direction maybe God is holding up a spiritual Stop Sign. Maybe there has been a change in life, loss of a job, new job, sickness, death of a love one, even retirement, maybe God is holding up a spiritual Stop Sign.
God desires for us to sometimes STOP so we can reflect on where he has taken us, review what He has taught us, what we have learned while on that path, and hear clearly what God has for us as we continue in His will.
So, as we begin this New Year of 2019, we need to beware of the spiritual Stop Signs God places in our lives where we need to be still and know that God is God. Don’t blow past those Spiritual Stop Signs in your haste to get something accomplished like I did on that country road that day. God may be trying to talk to you and if you don’t stop, the consequences could be disastrous.
Together in the challenge and adventure to disciple men – Mike.