Last night I spoke at our Sr. High Nexus Student Ministry service. It had been over 13 years since I'd spoken to a group of students in that kind of an environment and I had a blast! It was so cool to see them worship and I was humbled to share with them some of the things I've learned over the past 20 years since I graduated from high school.
Since I normally minister to adults, Donnie (our student ministries pastor) asked me to share about some of the reoccurring conversations I have with adults that I hope I never have to have with the students who were there last night. I found the idea intriguing and thought I'd spend this week blogging about it for the sake of all us "grown-ups" ... I hope these thoughts will inspire some growth in us all.
Here is the first conversation I have with adults on a regular basis when they come in to talk about where they've ended up in life - in their marriage, career, with regard to their physical health or their spiritual condition ...
“You’ve been headed down the wrong path for years.”
The principle we need to understand is this: Your direction, not your intention, will determine your destination.
The scriptures are full of passages that speak to the direction of our lives. I like this one in particular ... “Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path.” Proverbs 23:19 (NIV)
You win or lose by the path you choose. It is not where you are that is the issue; it is where you are headed. And there is often a disconnect between where we want to end up and the path we choose. The wisdom literature of Proverbs depicts this clearly ...
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Proverbs 27:12 (NIV)
In other words, wise people are paying attention to where they're headed. When they see trouble coming they take action. Fools see the same thing, but they continue to head into disaster with the mindset that life is disconnected. What a fatal flaw that envelopes us far too often!
I have a favorite prayer I pray on a continual basis these days. It goes like this ... “Lord, help me to see trouble coming long before it gets here, and give me the wisdom to know what to do and the courage to do it.”
Choosing the right path begins with submission, not information. Submission to the One who knows where each path leads, as well as where it doesn’t lead. Submission to the One who knows what’s best for you better than you know what’s best for you.
One other thing that influences the destinations we arrive at is this: What (or WHO) gets our attention determines our direction and, ultimately, our destination. We all give our attention to something or someone or both. This has a direct correlation to where we end up in life.
So, what has your attention these days? Who is getting your attention? The answers to those questions will tell you a lot about where you'll end up in the coming weeks, months and years.