For two weeks the on ramp to Interstate 75 near my home had been blocked by orange barrels with flashing yellow lights. Like a maze-savvy lab rat, I had grown accustomed to passing the direct entrance to the highway, following a circular detour and taking the long way onto I-75. This path made perfect sense as it was the most efficient way to enter the highway â€“ until last Saturday.
Last Saturday morning I left the house early anticipating the usual detour on my way to I-75. As if on auto pilot, I drove my car right past the newly opened entrance ramp, freshly paved and prepared for traffic. I missed my direct access opportunity, my chance to take the shortest route. My detour habit was so engrained that I overlooked the brilliantly lit sign directing me to the open ramp. My expectations of a blocked entrance were so concrete, that I missed the real concrete before me offering access to my desired destination.
How like spiritual life! Jesus has prepared a direct-access on ramp to take us to our ultimate destination, eternity in heaven. Yet we often drive right by the cross, thinking there must be another way. How many unnecessary circular detours do we take in our everyday lives? The Bibleâ€™s brilliant messages announce Jesus as Savior and spell out the attitudes and actions that will bring us joy because they were written by our Creator. Yet, we often miss the messages because we arenâ€™t looking for them. We read Godâ€™s Word on auto pilot, missing His fresh lessons for us. Or we leave the Book on the shelf altogether because of an inaccurate expectation that itâ€™s too hard to read.
As we embark on the journey of 2009, please know that the construction of our salvation is complete. Jesusâ€™ final words on the cross were, â€œIt is finished.â€ The on ramp to heaven is open and waiting for you. Will you accept Jesusâ€™ death and resurrection to bring you into life-giving relationship with Him?
If youâ€™ve already accepted Jesus as Savior, wonâ€™t you pick up the Bible with open eyes? Look for the messages God has for you. Instead of letting predetermined human expectations dictate the reality by which you navigate life, how about relying on the life-changing truth of Godâ€™s Word? The Bible is spiritual MapQuest! Check it daily before you hit the road.
As I learned last Saturday, sometimes going the way weâ€™re accustomed to isnâ€™t the best route. When God wants to grow us spiritually, the routine that has been most efficient may no longer be the best path.
May God grant you direct access to more of His truth in 2009!
SCRIPTURE TO PONDER
He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. (Psalm 107:7)
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. (Psalm 119:18)
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believeâ€¦ (Ephesians 1:18-19)