I was on my way back home with my good friend and her son, having spent the weekend at a retreat on the west coast of Florida. Our time there had been bookended by two severe storms (thank you Tropical Storm Andrea), but our drive back was beautiful. Sun shining on the water like fluid diamonds. Animal shaped clouds floating overhead. Good company. Good conversation.
And then the car let us know it was hungry for gas.
So we took an exit. An exit that appeared to have gas stations in the immediate vicinity.
Not so much.
What seemed to be a promising exit–gas, food, lodging–turned into a drive to nowhere. We quickly left all signs of civilization and were driving in the country. Don’t get me wrong–it was definitely very beautiful country. Big live oaks swaying in the brisk breeze. Fields of wildflowers and water spattered with cattails.
And no gas stations.
Frankly, when you’re looking for gas–and other gas station amenities–wildflowers don’t matter a flying fig.
We ended up needing to get back on the interstate, looking for an exit that PROMISED immediate gas stations. (The last exit had promised, but obviously not as sincerely.) When we were able to see gas stations from the road, we turned off.
Just in time.
If we’d been in a hurry to get somewhere, I would have been more bothered. Much more bothered.
As it was, I was reflective. Which is what happens when you have a little time on your hands. And have to desperately go to the bathroom. Activities that take great focus.
Told you it was just in time.
I find that I often live life like I’m looking for the best exit to get to where I want to go. Or at least where I think I want to go. Some of those exits–towards times of fun or activities that seem really good in the moment–don’t really get me to where I want to go.
Which is closer to God.
Those exits may compromise my values. Or cause me to waste my resources–financial, emotional and physical. Or end up with costly consequences I hadn’t banked on.
God’s plan–the exit to His good intentions for us–are purposeful and good.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
Food for the nourishment of my soul. Words for the building of my heart.
Life necessities and amenities.
I’ll take the exit towards God any day.
Picture courtesy of plank.com.