Our Make A Wish Vacation to Orlando ended early on the morning of April 28th. The phone jangled on the nightstand at 4:00 am, our wake-up call. We covered our bedhead with ball caps, brushed away our morning breath, stowed our luggage in the van, and bid a fond farewell to Give Kids the World. Pulling out onto the desolate highway, my wife studied the directions to Orlando International Airport. After about twenty minutes, we concluded that the last left should have been a right. We found ourselves stuck on a toll road headed west, when east led to our destination. Delaina punched in the number to GKTW and talked to a friendly volunteer at the front desk. She asked our whereabouts and explained how to get turned around. After driving an additional unnecessary twenty miles, we dropped our van off at National Car Rental and hustled into the airport terminal, bleary eyed and harried.
I blame the signs. The only complaint my wife and I shared about our trip focused on Florida road signs, or the lack thereof. Had the Florida Highway Dept. properly marked the exits, or displayed flashing signs reading, “Tourists, turn this way to the airport,” I’d not driven through two extra toll booths, tossing exact change into wide-mouthed metal funnels. At one point I considered blazing a trail across the median, whipping back to the east. However, the issue of the toll booths and nosy intrusive cameras capturing offending drivers discouraged any thoughts of breaking the law.
Sadly, sometimes signs mislead and occasionally humans offer sketchy directions at best. But, there’s good news. God never has to stop and ask for directions.
I’ve served in youth ministry for almost twenty years. Over the past two decades, many teenagers raised the following question, “How do I know what direction to go? How do I know what God wants me to do?” I assure them God never disappoints those earnestly seeking Him. In fact, He promises in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Sometimes teens follow-up with, “How do I hear Him?” The answer? Learn to listen.
It’s an interesting phenomenon, but when I’m uncertain of my surroundings, and I’m searching for a specific highway marker or exit, I turn down the radio. I’m not sure why, other than I want to focus on the task at hand. Listening to God requires turning down the “volume” of the world, getting alone with the One who loves us more than any other. It’s often during those quiet times we “hear” God speak. When we need specific direction, Isaiah 30:21 promises, And your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.
Although the final destination might seem unclear (ask Abraham!), God never needs to recalibrate. He sees and knows the outcome.
We need only trust.