Repost from October 29, 2012
One night I had a dream that I was driving a car. I knew that I had a destination, but I didn’t really know how to get there (I had this dream long before I had GPS). I continued driving, reading road signs and looking at a map when I became increasingly sleepy. As I tried to fight sleep I heard a voice say “Let me drive.” I continued to fight sleep and kept driving. All of a sudden, my seat began to recline. I tried sitting up straight and readjusting the seat, but it just kept reclining. I kept hearing that voice say “Let me drive.” Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I let my body recline with the seat and fell fast asleep. In the next part of the dream, I saw myself standing next to a safely parked car and getting ready to walk into a building. Somehow I arrived where I was intended to be, but it was not easy letting go of the wheel.
Our (Mis-) Steps Have Been Ordered
I used to be very concerned about making mistakes that would completely throw me off the course to my destiny. I often made plans for my life in grave detail, outlining what I’d do from year-to-year. Most of the time, I was extremely hard on myself, was afraid to actually experience my life, and blamed myself every time something went awry. The bible says that our steps have been ordered (Psalm 37:23a), but I often worried about stepping “out of order” or forever messing up my life by not knowing what steps to take. Sensing my distress, one of my cousins once said, “Nikki (my childhood nickname), even your ‘missteps’ are ordered.” I pondered that idea until I understood that God, in all of His wisdom and power, has the ability to take the ‘missteps’ of our lives and place them in necessary order to help us reach our life’s purpose. I learned this lesson not just in theory, but it is the story of my life! When we begin to release our worries and need for control in the plan, we give God the space and opportunity to work in our lives and help us fulfill our destinies. It is in part the meaning of the scripture: “We know all things work together for good for those who love God, who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28, NRSV). God takes our mistakes, our detours, our unpaved roads, dead ends, and u-turns, and makes them good for our destination. He is the greatest GPS of all; whenever necessary, He will “re-calculate” the journey to make sure we get to the right address!
My dream speaks volumes to the measure of faith I had at that time, and the new dimension of faith that God was calling me to. I clearly had a plan – or at least a plan to find a plan – to get where I was going (i.e., looking at road signs and reading maps). I didn’t have the faith to believe that I would get there if I actually let go of the steering wheel and trust God’s ability to drive the car! My path will not fail just because I might. I am learning that when I seek God’s guidance and trust Him with the steering wheel of my life, I will somehow end up exactly where I am supposed to be. A wise woman once said that a river will always have the same source and destination, no matter the path the river takes, or how the path changes during the course of the river’s flow. Like the river, we sometimes have to “go with the flow” and trust that God is directing us. Sometimes our plans don’t quite work out. Other times, we won’t have a plan in mind, and won’t always know the plan that has been put in place by God. Nevertheless, God’s hand leads and holds us, and our steps are firm (Ps. 37:23-24, NRSV). With God, we can reach our destination, and ultimately our destiny.