6 Things to Do Before Going on a Road Trip (Part II)

Bend in the Road

Last week we worked our way through some good stuff! Check it out here. I've been looking forward to sharing more of my thoughts about traveling through life, but before we dive into the next two things to do before going on a road trip, think about the three questions from last week. Answer them again. Honestly. 

  • Do you feel called to embark on the journey?
  • Have you prayed about it?
  • Do you feel confirmed in your decision to go?

I find it easy to lose sight of where I've come from and where I'm going when the trip starts throwing me curveballs. And while life really is more about the journey than it is the destination, we don't want to get lost all together. For that reason, it's important to 1) know the direction you're going in and 2) use a GPS ("God positioning system").

2. Know the direction you're going in.

Every road trip has an end goal, a purpose—surf safari, visiting friends, seeing sites, wandering your gypsy-spirited way through the States, escaping the mundane, simply embracing the open road. Whatever the reason, define it. Ask God what the purpose of your trip is. Once you have a more clearly defined purpose (and it may not be 100% clear), you'll be better able to choose the best direction. Are you taking the most scenic route? Or must you go with the shortest drive time?

Once you know your purpose and your general direction, ask the right questions. If you have limited time and resources, you may want to ask yourself things like: How many rest stops do I need to factor in? How will I feed myself? Where will I sleep? 

And if you're on a more leisurely schedule and budget, don't veer too far off track. You don't want to set out for Nevada, only to end up in Arkansas. I'm not saying you won't learn something on your way to Arkansas, but really folks, I'm encouraging a bit of intentionality here. What will you do to stay focused?

  • What is your purpose?
  • What direction are you going in?
  • What questions do you need to ask yourself?

3. Use a GPS ("God positioning system").

How often does your Garmin (or, in our real life scenario, God) tell you to turn left and you carry on straight? Thinking you know better. Perhaps it's fear that leads you into disobedience. For others, it may be pride. Whatever the reason, it's vitally important to position ourselves with the Lord in a way that we can hear His voice as He prompts us to turn left, right, continue straight, or turn around.

Elijah's GPS broke when he was overcome by fear and ran for his life into the desert (1 Kings 18:46 to 1 Kings 19:15). He was running away from his calling, and still, God sent an angel to provide him food and water. I love how the angel told Elijah that "the journey was too much for [him]." Let's stop there for a second. Elijah, gifted prophet and man of God, asked God to take his life because he was that scared. The journey was too much for him to handle.

Relax, roll your shoulders, and take a deep breath. Elijah couldn't handle the pressure, and it's OK if you have moments like that too. At the end of his running, God asked him a simple question (not once, but twice). "What are you doing here, Elijah?" Then, God said something that, since reading it, has played a pivotal role in my life. "Go back the way you came."

You see, God had a plan. Elijah was running ahead of (or away from) the plan, and he was missing a lot of the good stuff. We do that too. Sometimes we go around the dirt road, refusing the hassles of a bumpy journey. But the thing is, sometimes God takes us on a dirt road to teach us something that we couldn't have learned on the highway. (Or maybe the dirt road leads to a really beautiful lake full of pristine swans and surrounded by weeping willows!)

Position yourself with God so that you may know that you are called. 

Know your limits, too. If it's time for a rest stop, stop. If it's time to turn around, turn. If it's time for a short cut, by all means, cut on over! Abide in the Father, keep your palms open... and you'll hear His whispers.

  • If God asked you, "What are you doing here?"... could you answer Him?
  • Do you need to "go back the way you came?"
  • What is God whispering to you about where you are?

I'd love to hear more about your story with God. Please feel free to comment on this blog or to share with me via email. I look forward to hearing from you! Next week, we'll chat about the remaining three steps.
Heart to God.
Spread the Stoke.