I was in Chicago the last three days. The trip was lots of fun, but long hours. When I got home last night, I was toast. But today is my Mom’s 91st birthday! She lives about 310 miles away in Greensboro, NC. This morning, I made the spur of the moment decision to drive up and surprise her. I’m sadly aware that at her age there probably won’t be many more birthdays to celebrate.
A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine named Ned Parks, administered the DiSC Behavioral Profile on me. I’d recommend this to anyone. It basically helps you identify what kind of personality you have plus how you can best utilize your strengths and how to minimize your weaknesses. There were no surprises for me—I’m a high iD, which means I like action and results. In other words, I want things to happen “now!” Patience and waiting are not my strengths.
There are some things that I’m working on that just aren’t going as quickly as I wish. There’s no need to go into specifics in this post. But on the trip up, I was dwelling on what seemed like lack of progress, plus I was physically and mentally tired. Being in a car for 11 hours by yourself is not a good place to be when you’re not in a good mood. My thoughts were leading to feelings of discouragement. I was making it worse in my mind than it really was.
There’s a stretch of Interstate 85 in Greenville, SC that’s a speed trap. The speed limit drops from 70 M.P.H. down to 55. (That translates for high iD people into 77 down to 62!) But, though the speed limit changes, the highway doesn’t change–it’s three to four lanes wide in either direction. There are ALWAYS state troopers on that stretch of road. (Coincidentally, there are several Krispy Kreme Donut shops nearby! Go figure…)
Most people don’t notice the speed change. How do I know this? The last speeding ticket I got was in 1996, right on that stretch. I remember it because it was on my birthday. I was doing 79 in a 55. When the trooper came back with my ticket, he asked me if it was my birthday. I told him yes (hoping he’d tear it up!) He smiled and wished me a Happy Birthday. Leigh and the boys were in the car and were laughing hysterically. (@3%*&x∞!ς¤)
Whenever I drive through this stretch of road, I slow down!
Today, I was doing about 57. I was in the center lane. People were passing me on both sides; many of them doing at least 75. I felt like a turtle.
And then I had this thought: I’m playing by the rules. I’m going at the right speed. I’m in good shape and have nothing to worry about!
And then I had this thought: As long as I keep moving forward with the project I’m working on, (slow as it might seem), I’m in good shape. Maybe this is God’s timing for my life right now. Maybe there are some “speed traps” out there that I’m unaware of that He is protecting me from by going at this speed.
I ask God each morning to help me with the day. I can’t see everything that He’s doing behind the scenes. But I trust Him, every day! Just as I can trust that doing the speed limit will protect me from getting a speeding ticket, trusting Him with the everyday details of my life will always prove successful.
The problem is this: just like I can’t “see” the state troopers, I also can’t “see” what God is doing. But they’re both there… Of that, you can be assured!
So, with this thought in mind, I’ll just continue to lean on these two verses that I love:
The first is Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” When I gave my life to Him, he took over. My responsibilities are to work and to keep pressing forward. He’s in charge of the results.
We’re partners! He rides with me everyday. On some days, I even give him the wheel.
The second verse is Proverbs 3:5-6, which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” My job is to trust and to continue to take action. He will make my paths straight. That’s a promise–to you and to me!
So how about you? Is there something in your life that’s not panning out the way you want? Or is there something that seems to be taking a little too long? Maybe you should adopt these two verses for yourself.
And know this—there are two riding with you today—God, and me!
But I’ll be in the back seat taking a nap.