As I made my first turn, however, I kept looking for some of the familiar landmarks and they just weren't there. Something was wrong...then it hit me. I was headed to the gym! I wasn't really paying attention and I automatically wandered along a familiar path.
I'd like to say this is the first time this has happened, but I've noticed it happens a lot more lately. One night I was headed to the gym and next thing I knew, I'd missed the turn and was headed to the church! I'd gotten distracted again.
I know I'm not the only one this happens to. I once heard a pastor tell about heading to Jackson and next thing he knew he was in Meridian! Just got distracted and one interstate looked a lot like the other. What should have taken about two hours took a whole lot more.
I have to wonder if that is a VERY small picture of what happened to the children of Israel. Oh, I know it wasn't a matter of missed turns and wrong interstate numbers, but they were distracted all the same.
These were the people who had seen God deliver them so many times before. They had been delivered from slavery in Egypt, crossed the Red Sea (on dry land), seen the Pharaoh's army destroyed, been fed, sheltered, protected - you name it. Then they come to the southernmost edge of the promised land. They send in men to explore the land, and wait for them to come back with the report.
The land is flowing with milk and honey - Hooray! BUT there are giants in the land - woe is me! They said something along the lines of "We felt like grasshoppers next to them, and they looked at us like we were grasshoppers!" The promises of God were right there before them, but they got distracted. They fell back into their old slavery mindset. They started "traveling a familiar path" and before they knew it, they were way off course!
We all know the story. They spent the next 40 years wandering around a mountain. Talk about a wrong turn! All because they got distracted by what they saw and took their eyes off what God had promised - they forgot where they were supposed to be headed.
I was able to turn around this morning, only losing a few minutes of my day. I made it to class in plenty of time, but I have to admit I was still kind of distracted...only now it was because I was thinking about how many times in life I haven't paid attention and have fallen back into old patterns. The old "slavery" mindset takes over and I find myself once again wandering paths I never intended - paths of fear, doubt, or just plain worry.
I think I need to live my life more intentionally, keeping my goal in sight. I'll keep my GPS (God Positioning System) turned on and daily check to make sure I'm still on course. Oh, and I think I may have to have another cup of coffee before I head to class in the morning....and I'll try to get a little more sleep tonight!
Just a few verses to help keep me focused!
Deuteronomy 6: 6-12 (Message)
6-9 Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.
10-12 When God, your God, ushers you into the land he promised through your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give you, you're going to walk into large, bustling cities you didn't build, well-furnished houses you didn't buy, come upon wells you didn't dig, vineyards and olive orchards you didn't plant. When you take it all in and settle down, pleased and content, make sure you don't forget how you got there—God brought you out of slavery in Egypt.