Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands - Deuteronomy 8:2 NIV
Because I have an aversion to flying, whenever we go on vacation or visit family and friends, we always drive to our destinations. I remember on one occasion when we were driving back from some trip, I pointed out to my sons a power plant that was located on the Ohio River (once we got there we would cross into Kentucky) and asked them how long would it take for us to get there. Their answers ranged from 2 to 5 minutes. It took us approximately 20 minutes to actually reach the power plant and cross into Kentucky. They were puzzled about the length of time that it took to reach the power plant because it appeared to be closer than it appeared. I had to explain to them that we were not able to take a straight line directly to the plant and that we have to navigate the turns in the road in order to reach the destination. As a result, it required additional time for us to make it there.
There have been times in my life that I shared the same opinion and possessed the same attitude as my 2 sons that day when it comes to reaching my goals and dreams. I was impatient and puzzled because it took a lot longer to reach my goals than what I originally thought. It has been a constant source of frustration throughout my life. Guys, am I alone in that sentiment or can you identify with the negative feelings that accompany waiting to see your goals come to fruition? As much as I would like to be able to attain my goals in a more timely manner, I have come to realization that I will not have the straight line to success and will have to learn to trust the process that is required. The process may require that you take detours and alternative routes to reach the final destination. It may require experiencing a time that like the children of Israel, wandering in the wilderness in order to reach the Promised Land. During that period of time in the wilderness, you learn the skills that are necessary to be successful in addition to relying on God to provide you with the proper mindset to get to the next level. All too often during this period of time in the wilderness, we become frustrated and disenchanted and abandon the pursuit of our God given dreams. As I write this, I think of what potential positive contributions that have fallen by the wayside because of someone's inability to endure their time in the wilderness. Imagine the change that could have been experienced in this world if more people were able to realize that there is no straight line to success and getting there may require you to take a series of turns to arrive at your final destination. Are you one of the people that have abandoned the pursuit of your goals because you have spent time in the wilderness? If so, please grab your map, get back on the road and begin the process once again with the realization that you will have to make a series of turns in order to arrive at your final destination.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.