Short cuts in life can have drastic consequences. Today I was heading to my kids’ school when a truck pulled in front of me and did a u turn. He obviously was escaping the traffic that was heading south into the city. He chose to take a little short cut and bypass the traffic to save him a few minutes in line. I can relate with him. I too have tried to take a short cut to bypass traffic. Usually I end up spending more time swerving around the traffic than I would have if I just waited in line.
I do this with God all the time. I think my way would be WAY easier and God’s way is too hard. So, I choose my route. It takes me down a long winding path which doesn’t seem to have any traffic (that should be my first clue that I am taking the wrong turn). I cruise along at high speeds enjoying that there are no cars around me. When I finally reach what I think was my short cut back to my real world, I realize that all those cars that were with me in traffic are way up ahead of my short cut. So much for the short cut. You see the cars that stayed on the path work their way through the traffic with patience, living in the moment. They trusted that God would get them to their destination on time, I didn’t.
The scripture from Psalm chapter 56 verse 3 reminds me of how I should be:
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.”
I am making myself look like I never trust in God (that I always take the short cuts), but that is not always the case. Yesterday, I gave a speech to some wonderful women at a local church. I had prepared my speech for over a month, but really didn’t like it. I went through the speech on Monday and recognized that it was just not what God wanted me to say. So on Tuesday (mind you the speech was Wednesday morning), I said to God, “What do you want me to say to these women?” When I opened my heart to Him, he reminded me that I knew my subject quite well. I needed to use my outline and ditch the speech. “Speak My words, not yours,” He said. “Stop trying to please everyone with your ability to speak. Just trust Me that I will give the words to say.”
You know what? I did trust Him. I did my research and went through my key points in my head Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. I continued to pray for God’s strength and wisdom, and in the end it turned out great. I walked away from that talk feeling rejuvenated and full of joy because I had relied on God for the bulk of my speech. I let God take control. The benefit of allowing God to take over is you finally feel this sense of gratitude for God. I couldn’t stop praising Him for what He had accomplished. He touched people and I allowed Him to do it through me. I got all the accolades, but He did the work. It is like the best gift in the world. Someone else does all the behind the scenes stuff, yet everyone thanks you for all of it! Seems a little wrong when I say it like that, but that is what God does if we relinquish control to Him. Trust.
What does all of this have to do with short cuts? Well, the short cut would have been me taking the reins. The speech (while I would have had control) would have been boring and memorized, not really from the heart. If I took the easy way out, I would have been speaking about Anne and not listening to what others were feeling or thinking. I wouldn’t have been in touch with my audience because I would be talking all about me. It was hard for me to give up control. I was scared and nervous that I might not know what to say. I was frightened of being embarrassed. I was fearful that I would let all these women down. When I pushed those emotions aside and allowed God to work within me, I realize that there was nothing to be fearful of. God was in control. I was doing His Will, so He wasn’t about to allow me to fail. I finally took my eyes off the fear and placed my eyes on God. I, just like John 3:30 says, Increased God and decreased me.
I don’t know if that man this morning got to work any quicker with his u-turn move, but I do know that He missed out on something with his shortcut. He might have missed a moment that God chose to talk to Him while he was sitting in traffic. He might have missed witnessing a moment of faith from another driver. He might have missed a song or scripture that came on the radio during his waiting time. I don’t know what he missed, but I guarantee you he missed something by taking the reins.
Don’t miss out on the moments that God gives you. Don’t take over the wheel when God is more than capable of getting you to your destination. Trust. Have Faith. Give it to God!
Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.