making your own way

1oo signs for $199

Originally uploaded by RobbbL

Earlier tonight we discovered that when you take I-94 toward Chicago, intending to get on I-90 toward Wisconsin, you can’t get to I-90. To be more accurate, I-90 and I-94 make a Y coming out of Chicago. If you start at the top of one branch of the Y and head south, you don’t have the option of going back up the other branch of the Y.

To be even more accurate, you can’t get there easily. You have to get off the expressway, circle and circle and go south instead of north and then turn around and then find a global food vendor with yellow arches and then finally get on the right road.

Partway through the journey, we wished that we could just make a sign that said “Enter” and enter the right road. But somehow, merely printing your own sign doesn’t make it the right road.

This morning, lots of hours and miles ago, I read a random paragraph from a random book. “Goals are discovered, not made,” writes Richard Foster in “Celebration of Discipline”. He is writing about the importance of solitude, of taking time to stop and listen to our hearts and to God’s.

Listening is a hard thing to do for some of us. What we would love to do is to create the signs that mark our way, to decide where the highway is. I’m discovering, however, that I am not built for every highway, nor is every highway built for me. I’m not sure that I am the best one to decide how far it is to the next exit, where the best rest area is, what roads are under construction, what the speed limit is, where I need to stop.

Do I have options for my life? Certainly. Am I capable of messing things up? Certainly. Have I been given great capacity for significant influence in the world? Certainly.

However, after a month of looking for the right sign, I think that it’s time for me to discover what’s next rather than making it happen. Am I avoiding responsibility? Not really. I’m just trusting the One who built the road to direct my path.


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