I don't do a lot of driving, but there are a few routes I take pretty often in and out of town. While driving I've observed a common behavior that at first perturbed me, and then gave way to some pondering.
I noticed how people would line up in a lane, sometimes miles before necessary, to exit onto another road or offramp. This seems to hold true for right or left-hand turns. Of course, this impedes traffic and causes congestion along the way. But this is not a post about traffic habits, it's an observation on life—and faith.
It's easy to get so locked into where we're going that we don't see any other possibilities than what's straight ahead—in our view of things. In life it's normal to get into certain routines as a matter of efficiency and even discipline. This is not a bad thing. But what if it limits our vision for what could be possible?
Walking by faith requires vision to see beyond the usual—beyond the norm. It requires a willingness to break out of routines, break from the pack, and take a different route. It means doing (or not doing) something in a way that seems risky to others, even foolish or possibly dangerous.
When reading about Noah, Abraham and others in the book of Hebrews (Heb 11:6-19), I was struck by how unusual their choices were when trusting God—they seemed irrational, illogical and just plain foolish to others. Sadly, I don't see this same "reckless" faith in the church today, at least not nearly enough.
There are times in my own life when this had been true. In the early seventies, my wife and I gathered our infant son, a few belongings, and about $160, jumped into our VW van and headed off to somewhere. We didn't have a definite destination, but headed up to the Northwest from Southern California. We ended up in the California low desert—not where we would have chosen on our own.
After five years, we struck out to the nearby high desert to plant a church. A dozen years later—when the church was well established and we no longer qualified for government assistance—we left it all behind, along with our oldest son, and moved to the Philippines.
There were more than a few people along the way who thought we were crazy, maybe stupid, and even wrong. Looking back I know it wasn't wrong, but what seemed normal to us back then, too often seems suspect now.
As I approach the age of retirement (I think they're called the golden years), I'm hoping there's still some unexpected ventures ahead. I'm praying for the church in America to look beyond the lane they're in and see the possibilities God has opened up—for whoever is willing to see them by faith.
I'm reading through a sequel book to the best-selling Radical, by David Platt. It's called Radical Together and I hope to do a review of it soon. The titles reveal the content. But the only reason what he says seems radical is because Christian believers, and the church itself, have moved so far away from where the Lord Jesus intended.
I know God is doing great things around the world. I believe there will be new and great things in America in the near future (sometime soon I hope!). And so, I want to be ready, and this is my prayer—Oh Lord, please, deliver me from being lane-locked in my faith, in my trust in You. What's your prayer today?