Do you know what off-roading is?

Do you know what off-roading is?

This is probably not Miriam's definition, but basically it is traveling on roads unsurfaced. Roads of rock, mud, gravel. It is not smooth, not paved.

Life is a lot like that. Some roads we have traveled before. They can be smoother if there is a familiarity. Others are new and can be bumpy as we make our way. There have been things that have come up in our life that one of us will usually say "ok, we've been here before, we've already covered this". Sometimes it will still throw us a bit. Satan does not use a lot of new ammo, but he can present it differently at times. And that is what can throw us a bit. Sometimes it is like off-roading. New issues. New challenges. A rough unproven surface. It can be difficult or it can be an opportunity for growth. It can bring fun to a marriage or it can tear us apart. It can bring an opportunity to cling to the Lord or we can turn away and turn to old patterns and get the same old results. It can bring a chance to grow, to change, to give a little, or it will bring hurt and separation and pain.

Eddie referenced one time in a message about what we face on the different roads we travel. That turned in my head for a while and so I read scripture from that point of view, of how what I was reading applied to a road I had traveled or was traveling. A road that seemed familiar or totally new. I am thankful for the familiar, for the confidence that brings. I am also thankful for the new because how boring would life be if we just lived on repeat and dittos all the time? Off-roading does not have to be painful or cause whiplash. Depends on who's driving us.

So often our week starts with plans made and then things happen and the week turns upside down. Plans can be suddenly interrupted. How often does that happen? It has happened to us quite a bit actually. Yep, we've traveled this road a few times. In our younger days I cannot tell you how many bbqs and cookouts and dinners I went to with the kids alone. We would have a plan and something would happen that Eddie would have to head to the hospital or a home. Plans changed. My dad was hospitalized one year when we were headed on vacation. Plans changed.

There are always interruptions along the roads we walk. Jesus constantly faced interruptions. When He was tired, people needed something. When He wanted alone time with His disciples, the crowd followed. When He was hungry, He fed others first. Interruptions can work for us if we keep our eyes open to what God does along the journey.

Anyone faced betrayal along your road? Nehemiah spoke to that. How encouraging to see how he dealt with it. People attacked his character, they spread rumors about him, spread false reports. He examined the self-proclaimed messengers, claimed he had no time to deal with the junk, and remained steadfast in what God called him to do. What a word when those things stare at us along the roads on our journey.

1 Corinthians challenges us on our road as Jesus followers. It challenged us to put away petty differences that divide. No place for that in a believer's life. We were also relieved of the excuse we so often use as to why we don't share the gospel. That's the main thing we are called to do as we travel our roads. Our ego tells us it's about us and what we say and how impressive our vocabulary is. But the truth says, it's not about us at all. The power is in the story, not the storyteller. We are called to share the story, as we go, wherever we go.

So whatever road you are on, wherever you are headed, if it is familiar and the road seems paved or you are doing a bit of off-roading and feeling your way, feeling jerked around, let Jesus drive you. He maneuvers all roads best. When we are in charge we may have to do some back tracking and turning around and it is easy to get lost. But Jesus never does. Going His way is always the best way. He's been there already.

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