A Wasted Life meets The Overboard Life.
I am always amazed at how God curves our paths so that we get to meet people we wouldn’t have met otherwise. When I began blogging and chasing this dream that God gave me I immediately started following and reading the blogs of others who were doing the same.
I have been blessed not only by his transparency with his readers but also by his obedience to God and His Word. His love for people and for what God has called him to do is so evident and I know that you will be blessed by his words.
My family and I just finished up a road trip that took us over 2,800 miles, traveling from Michigan to Oregon. It was a great adventure, and Traci and I, and our three amazing kids, had a lot of fun and made a ton of memories. Good thing, too, because thanks to three of my nephews and nieces getting married this summer, we’ll be repeating that trip in two months!
I love taking in the views of this amazing country, from the windshield of our 2004 Pontiac Montana. I love front seat conversations with my wife and creating shared experiences with my children. I love driving, and when I look in my rear-view mirror and see that everyone is asleep and that even my wife has succumbed to the sunshine pouring in through her window and has curled up for a short nap, I smile and even enjoy taking it all in by myself.
Road trips teach great life lessons, too.
One of the lessons I’ve learned while enjoying the open road is that road signs are very important.
A couple months back when I was pulled over and given my first speeding ticket in 20 years, I was reminded, by the kind officer, that the “Speed 55” sign was a pretty important one that I missed. Back in 2009 me, and six buddies, were on an east-coast road trip visiting baseball stadiums. A misread sign sent us 15 miles in the wrong direction before we could turn-around and get back on track.
Ignoring those kinds of road sings can be frustrating, can cost you time and money and, with your buddies in the back seat, could also cost you a little ribbing for the next few days. Ignoring other types of road signs can be far more costly, dangerous, and even life-threatening. While we were driving through Wyoming on our recent trip, we saw many warnings for the 35+ mph wind gusts. As we were zipping up and down through the mountains we came across a semi truck “parked” on the side of the road. We’re pretty sure the wind gusts got the best of him, and the mobile home that had been on his trailer was being scooped up by a bucket loader and placed into a dump truck. Thankful no one appeared injured, but that accident could have put lives in jeopardy!
Most people pay attention to road signs so that they don’t barrel thru a “road closed” warning or drive 75 mph in a 55 mph zone. But it’s amazing how often we can ignore “road” signs that God pops up for us in the journey He has given us!
Here are a few that should shape our journey but are often ignored:
1. “Do not be anxious about anything…” (Philippians 4:6)
It seems like a lot of us take this sign a suggestion, instead of a command. We choose to embrace worry and anxiety, and all of the emotional, mental and physical suffering that comes with them. It’s almost like God is telling us, “Hey, if you want, you might enjoy the living life without worry, but it’s totally up to you, and I’m good with it either way. You pick.” Quite the opposite, God is saying, “DO NOT BE ANXIOUS about anything…” because He has something better — a “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7).
2. “Remain in me…and you will bear much fruit…” (John 15:5)
Another sign for our journey tells us that fruit-bearing happens when we stay intimately connected to Jesus. Yet how often do we try to produce fruit in our lives, or worse yet, in the lives of others? I’m often guilty of thinking I can produce fruit in the lives of my children by controlling them or their environment. According to this road sign, fruit-production comes when we stay close to Jesus and let Him prune and prepare us for fruit; our job is just to stay connected in faith.
3. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances…” (1 Thess 5:16-18)
God reminds us throughout Scriptures how important our thoughts are, and that we can, and must, choose them carefully. Joy is a choice. It is a choice we must make to engage our minds prayers. Thanksgiving is a choice. When we capture our thoughts and choose joy, prayer and thanksgiving as habits, we find ourselves better able to face the challenges before us, better able to see God’s hand at work in our lives and more capable of celebrating the victories in our lives.
Road signs can make the difference between a safe trip and one that ends in disaster.
In the same way, God’s “road signs” can make the difference between a life that is merely endured, and one that is lived to the fullest!
If we are going to live the Overboard Life of faith, we’ll need to learn to find and follow God’s roads signs, trusting that He knows the best way for each of us to travel the road He’s put us on.
“Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!”
Thanks for reading today’s blog! If you’d like to read more, please visit my web site and click the blog link. I usually blog 2-3 times a week at www.overboardministries.com