Posts tagged ‘choices’

God’s Itinerary

Then Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence.  Jeremiah 48:13

It was time to fly home yesterday after a lovely visit in Loma Linda with Eric and Lindsay, my son and daughter-in-law. Though I loved my time in California with family, I was ready to go home on a 3:30pm flight through Portland that would land in Pasco, Washington at 8:30pm. This gave me plenty of time to read, contemplate, blog, and find a restaurant that would serve healthy food before the departure time. All of those things happened before I found myself standing in front of the airport reader board to find the gate for my 3:30pm flight. I found Portland on the board, which was listed twice. But neither flight to Portland left at 3:30pm. I checked the flight number on my boarding pass which had been loaded onto my phone the night before when I checked in. I confirmed the flight number, but what I read on the reader board gave me pause. Flight 585 to Portland had left on time… at 1:30pm. I looked at my boarding pass again, and there was the departure time in plain English, 1:30pm. How had I missed it? How could I have mistaken the arrival time in Portland for the departure time in California?

In order to get home in time for Pam to work today, I had to purchase two tickets to Portland, rent a car at the Portland airport, and drive home. We arrived home at 1:38am. What should have been a leisurely trip home became an exhausting trip because I did not recheck the departure time. I was so certain of the departure time that I gave no thought to even look at the printed itinerary in my briefcase or the boarding passes on my phone. After all, I “knew” when the flight departed. 

In Jeremiah 48:13, God is giving a message about Moab to Jeremiah. The Moabites, like the Israelites on their exodus from Egypt, had constructed idols with their own hands and would find themselves ashamed of those idols when those very idols fail them. We construct idols with our own hands and from our own understanding today. We do this every time we are sure of our abilities and understanding to make choices in life without consulting God. But living like that is the same as showing up to the airport late for a flight because you “know” when it departs.

The fact remains that we need to check with God. Idols we construct are worthless and bring heartache and shame in the end. Today, some of our most revered idols are material things (made with our own hands) and knowledge (made with our own minds). Yesterday was a reminder to me that I need check with God before I travel on life’s pathway just as I need to check the printed itinerary before I travel by air to any destination.

When you accept the gift of salvation, your boarding pass for the heavenly destination is printed out and sent to your heart phone. Consult the itinerary before you leave your house each day. I would have saved myself $900.00 of savings, 5 hours of time, and loads of frustration. But that is nothing to the savings we will gain when we consult God’s itinerary for our lives each day.

Have you checked your heavenly app on your heart phone today? Do you know what time God’s flight is departing for your adventure with Him? Are you making choices with your own hands and your own mind, or will you seek God’s hands and mind as you travel through life?

Day 44 to Beech Grove, KY – When to Stop

We took a shortcut through Illinois thanks to the cyclists we met in Kansas. This will allow us to take an extra day off this week in Louisville where some cool things are happening because of this ride. One of the Louisville Seventh-day Adventist churches is collecting diapers for the women’s shelter in conjunction with this ride. I will be speaking at this church on Sabbath so I’m looking forward to meeting the people of this church who want to connect with their community in ways that demonstrate God’s love and acceptance.  

As I rode into Kentucky today the question of the week has become, When do I stop? The mental and physical fatigue as well as the saddle sore issues from this long journey are catching up with me which would tell me to go less miles, not more. On the other hand, the idea of having two full days of rest in Louisville with family and friends will be be helpful in relieving these challenges if I can make it to the end of the week. But just how far should I go each day to gain the extra rest? How much should I push myself for this respite?

Knowing “when to stop” is an important one for our daily lives. I’m not talking about immoral or wrong actions. If we’re involved in such things we obviously need to stop sooner than later. But we are all involved in good activities – work, vacations, ministry, housework, family time, recreation, and more. These are all good, but how do we know when we’ve done enough or even too much? Books have been written about this, sermons have been preached, and we all have lived with the consequences of our decisions about when to stop.

 I certainly don’t have all the answers, so I welcome your insights on this issue. Here are some principles I have discovered on this ride that guide me when to stop:

  • Have a goal. My goal for this ride is to raise awareness and money regarding the need many families have for diapers. This goal includes sharing God’s love with people along the route and helping churches to see how important it is to be the hands and feet of God in their communities. The issue for us in our daily lives is to have a goal for our lives. Where does God fit into your life’s goal?
  • Have a plan. I have plan for this ride. Each day has been clearly mapped out. I can “bank” time by riding a few extra miles to spend in a place like Lousiville because I do have a plan. It’s also important to have a plan for our lives. Do you have a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and/or life plan? Do you know where you want to be in 5 years and 10 years? Where does God fit into your life’s plan?
  • Know your calling. I know God has called me to do this ride. This fact above all else has kept me going when I really don’t feel like riding. I know there is a greater purpose to this ride than just taking a trip across the country. Living without knowing your calling likely results in living for yourself rather than for God. It’s the difference between taking a ride and taking a ride for diapers.
  • Know your heart. Jeremiah tells us our hearts are deceitful above all things. Andy Stanley has written that there are 4 enemies of the heart & they are all a matter of debt. They are 1) Guilt – I owe you.  2) Anger – You owe me. 3) Jealousy – God owes me.  4) Greed – I owe me. There is a habit to practice to defeat each of these enemies, something we can do to prevent these enemies from destroying our heart. The habit for guilt is forgiveness, for anger is confession, for jealousy is celebration, and for greed is giving. When I practice these habits I free my heart to live for God. I can then begin to trust my heart. It will tell me when to stop because my motivations will be pure.
  • Be honest with yourself. Each day I have to be honest with myself as to the reasons I want to stop or not to stop. Are my aches and pains serious or just discomforts? Is the reason I want to get more miles a particular day for my own accomplishments or for the ride? Am I staying true to the goals and plan of the ride? This gets to our need for an accountability partner, a mentor, and/or a friend that will tell me the truth about my actions as they relate to my goals and plans. 

I look forward to the ongoing dialogue on this important topic.

Ride Stats:  Total Miles- 83.3    Elevation Gain- 1,785 ft    Avg Speed- 12.5 mph   Avg HR- 107    Pedal Strokes- 23,001

The Ohio River bordering Illinois & Kentucky…

The only “welcome” sign coming into Kentucky…

 

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