Many years ago my friend Erik went on a vacation with his friend Tom (not their real names). After a week in Colorado, they began their return trip to Des Moines. Tom offered to drive the first leg, as Erik had not gotten much sleep the night before. A couple of hours into the trip Erik woke up and asked Tom how it was going. Tom reported that everything was going great, and that they were making such great time that they had passed Cheyenne, Wyoming about 30 minutes before. That’s right, they had been driving in the wrong direction! Erik soon got Tom turned abound, and they headed back towards Iowa. About an hour later Erik fell asleep again. He once again woke up a few hours later and asked Tom how they were doing. Tom apologized for going the wrong way earlier, and said he had been driving extra fast to make up time. In fact, they were doing so well that they were almost to…New Mexico! This time Erik was smart enough to kick Tom out of the driver’s seat and to drive the rest of the way back to Iowa himself.
I share this crazy story because it illustrates a reality we often face. When we let the world control our lives we end up like Erik in this story: we end up all over the map, and seldom do we end up where we really should be. Yet, we so often let the world drive our lives anyway. We listen to others, to social media, to people on TV, to non-Christian friends, and to all sorts of other advice. We end up bouncing all over the map instead of handing the keys over to the one who really knows the way: Jesus.
One of my favorite scriptures is Jesus’ calling of four of the Disciples:
While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Matthew 4:18-22
Each of these men was faced with a choice. The first choice was that they could do exactly what the world told them was important. They could stay at their jobs, keep living their current lifestyle, and have a relatively safe life. Or, they could take a leap of faith and follow Jesus, who had a plan to use them for a greater purpose. While many of us would likely choose the far easier worldly way, each man IMMEDIATELY chose to follow Jesus. They chose to have the faith to say: Jesus I am trusting you with all the plans for my life. Lead the way! The question for us this week is: who are we following in our lives? Are we following the world and ending up all over the map, or are we entrusting our lives to Jesus?