How to Find Direction

All I needed was to find the post office.

I took note of my supervisor’s directions, but misheard which branch he was directing me to. When I mentioned to a friend where I was going, she gave me a different set of directions (because, obviously, I had given her the wrong branch name). Insert dilemma. Whose advice did I want to take?

Have you ever stood on the brink of a big life decision (or a small thing like finding the correct branch of the post office!) and found yourself with conflicting sets of directions? Well, wait, it got worse.

I followed my friend’s directions and arrived at the post office, only to discover the lady who called me up from the line said I was at the wrong branch after all. She whipped out a Post-it note…and she gave me an entirely different set of directions, ya’ll. Down the road, make a right, then a second right, she said. So I got back in my truck and decided to double-check her. I Googled the post office’s address and plugged it into my GPS. When the GPS took me the way the post office lady had directed, I knew I had found my way.

Until I pulled into the ACE Hardware parking lot with my GPS happily chirping that I had arrived at my destination.

So I texted my supervisor, turned around, and followed his directions. The first set I had received nearly an hour before. Finally I made it to the post office to pick up an important package. (It turned out to be the wrong package, but that is an entirely different story!)

How to Find Direction

Isn’t that just like life? Sometimes we travel in circles, frustrated by the fact that the advice we’ve been given contradicts itself, laughing at how long it takes us to arrive. And life decisions feel so much weightier than finding the post office before it closes.

Do I date him? Friend A says he’s a great guy, but Friend B cautioned me to take it slow; am I rushing into this?

Do I take that trip? My bank account says I can afford it, but that podcast I listened to stressed saving; am I being foolhardy with my finances?

Do I pursue this job? My parents are all for it, but it’s not what my mentor envisions for me; am I really wanting this?

It all comes down to trust. When I wonder if I’m rushing into something, I’m mistrusting my own heart–which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Jeremiah 17:9 says our hearts can deceive. And Proverbs emphasizes the value of wise council. My favorite verse in Proverbs, though, points to the ultimate source of true direction: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5).

My own understanding can often skew a simple set of directions. My own understanding can view a guy or a trip or a job with a rose-colored hue.

But when I consult Jesus and truly listen to how He’s speaking to me through friends and family and His Word…these big-deal adult decisions somehow seem…perhaps not easier, but a lot less intimidating.

Photo by JenniMarie Photography

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