Finding the roadmap to life

By By Debra Whittington: QCS columnist

Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee (Psalm 143:8). Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Finding maps on the Internet is fairly easy and I often look them up, especially when I am traveling to some place new. There is one program that provides detailed instructions. For example, it instructs the driver to go .2 miles, turn left on such and such street, proceed .3 miles, turn right, and on and on until the destination is reached.

There were a few times, especially with new addresses, that the program states there is no such address and therefore you can’t go there. Other times, it shows a map that is so vague that you have no idea where you are going once you get within 10 miles of the location.

This was the case a couple weeks ago when I was planning to go to a luncheon at a friend’s house that was yet to be charted on the map program I like to use. I had an idea of the general area she lives in and knew where to make the first two turns off of Interstate 25, but after that I was totally lost. I could see myself wandering aimlessly around Rio Rancho, never arriving at my destination. I was also a little anxious about this trip since I haven’t driven in heavy traffic for a couple of years.

I advised my friend of my dilemma and she sent a detailed set of instructions. What was interesting was there were two sets of directions. One was if I were coming from Santa Fe and the other one was from Albuquerque. Studying both of them, I wondered which route I would take.

A year ago, I was on some of the streets coming from
Albuquerque and remembered them to be winding and full of traffic lights as well as heavy traffic. Evidently it is a more popular route that most people from Albuquerque follow to the west side. I recalled that the road from Bernalillo had less traffic, but was also a little farther. I prayed about my decision and the next morning, I felt guided to follow the instructions from Santa Fe.

I reached the first exit without any trouble at all and then got in a hurry after I exited and turned too soon. I quickly realized my mistake and turned around.

Once I was back on the right road, I started looking for my turn. I didn’t want to make a wrong turn again, so I anxiously sought out each street sign to make the right turn. Once I made that first turn, I felt more at ease.

Having never driven in that area before, I was uncertain as to what lay ahead. I knew I had several stoplights, stop signs, and turns to make before I reached my destination. Fortunately, I had a friend go with me who read the directions and helped me look for street signs. It made everything so much easier to not only have her help navigate, but to offer encouraging words along the way. When we pulled into the driveway at my friend’s house, I breathed a sigh of relief.

I’m not sure how I would have reached my destination if it weren’t for the detailed directions, the friend who went with me, and the guidance I received from the prayers before I even got into the vehicle. My life is very much like that trip. Before I embark on something, I spend time praying for guidance to see me through. There is nothing too simple that I can’t pray for guidance.

Every morning, I seek the Lord’s guidance for that day through prayer and reading His word. Psalm 119:105 states: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” There are times I stray off of that path and have to make a U-turn to get back on course. I find things go much more smoothly when I trust in the Lord, follow His road map (the Bible), listen to His gentle encouragement, and stay on the course He planned for my life. I wonder where life will take me next.