Insight comes from experience…both good and bad. If you’ve never had any experience…you’re not going to have much insight. And it’s not just that we gain insight…it’s what we do with it once we have it.
Many use insight they have gained to move forward…applying what they have learned from one experience to help them through a similar circumstance. But sometimes the journey to get to that place where there IS meaningful insight can be pretty painful. It all depends on the road that got you there.
I’m married to one of the most loving, thoughtful, intelligent and articulate females on this planet. She is beautifully complex .
We first met in third grade, but it wasn’t until High School that we had much to do with each other besides being friendly. And even when we did start spending more time together, I couldn’t see very far beyond the fact that she was extremely attractive and I wanted to be with her every chance I could. We dated for about 3 or 4 months our junior year and I thanked God every night that he had allowed this beauty to be my girlfriend. I was as smitten as a 16-year-old male could be. Food tasted better…the sky was bluer…my clothes fit better…all that stuff. I don’t remember if we used the “L” word…but man, I was thinking it. I was moving at the speed of light hoping to take this girl off the market. But shortly after our Jr. Prom…she no longer felt the same about me and was ready to move on. I was devastated.
“The road from here” begs the question…”where to next?” For me, at sixteen, after a painful break-up, the road ahead was nearly obscured. I had to get through the pain and rejection which felt overwhelming at first…I didn’t want to take the next step down that road… because it was going to take me farther from her and from what I knew. But the pain eventually eased as other things and even other girls filled the hole in my heart that I thought was there to stay.
We both moved on down the road. God had other things in store for Kathy and me.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
I love this old Irish blessing. A gentle walk, tender mercy…fair weather. That blessing is wasted on someone who never leaves the house…or never starts a journey. They would never come to feel God protecting them or the soft rain and warm sunshine…well…not in the way it was meant for the traveler who might also experience dark days, foul weather and challenging circumstances along the way. The blessing is for those of us on the road, out in the elements, facing danger and pain but also joy and celebration. The road is life.
I often wonder why some Christians don’t trust God with their lives. Is it risk avoidance? Is it fear? Is it lack of faith? Immaturity? What is it that makes us think we can manage our lives better on our own than with God. If we say we need God then we think we’re weak. If we say we need direction…we just buy a GPS…not implore God. If we’re lost and lonely and looking for comfort…we just need a friend or a support group…surely God can’t put his arms around you. It seems that we are willing to put ourselves and sometimes our families at risk just to avoid the appearance that we are “needy.” I’ve been that person…I’ve been in that prison…my guess is that you have been too. When we finally are “so low that we have to look up to see a worm’s belly,” as a former pastor of mine used to say…then we reach up and reach out to God who gladly lifts us up and sets us back on the road.
None of us like that kind of desperation…but we often allow ourselves to get into that position.
I think pride and presumption play a huge role. We feel entitled and we think that God gives us extra points if we do it ourselves. God is only there if we can’t hack it. Thankfully I woke up to the fact that God has not only saved me but he wants to be a vital part of my life…all of my life…every day. I realized that pride does come before a fall…it’s dangerous and foolish… and I have to deal with my own pride daily. I realize that my purpose for being comes from God alone and that He loves and directs his kids despite us running after wrong things down wrong roads…even when we know better.
God brought Kathy’s and my road to a junction one more time last July, and it changed both our lives once again. It was an unexpected turn. Neither of us were looking for each other…our roads had diverged in High School and I never thought I’d see her again. But each life circumstance, each painful experience, each bend in the road was bringing us to that intersection of faith, renewal and love.
We are eternally grateful for God’s sovereignty and direction….and for the road that brought us here.