And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. – Matthew: 2:12
A few months ago my friends Joe and Debbie took a trip out west. “Took a trip.” That’s Southerner-speak for “driving.” In the South we’re always “taking and toting” things. In 1861 we took Fort Sumter but gave it back because we couldn’t afford the upkeep. Plus, the Yankees who’d been living there left it a wreck. But I digress. That’s another thing Southerners do. We stray from our main point.
Speaking of straying, a few months ago my friends Joe and Debbie took a trip out west. Driving into Indianapolis they started around the beltway when their GPS units barked: “Drive .6 miles. Then turn right.” Joe looked at Debbie and said, “Guess Leaner is taking us on shortcut.” He pulled off and stopped at the bottom of the ramp.
A few blocks later Joe and Debbie found themselves on an unlit city street in a part of Indianapolis not featured in the Chamber of Commerce welcome packet. At a traffic light bracketed by abandoned vehicles and homes missing doors and windows, Joe’s GPS advised him to: “Continue straight for another 247 miles.” Joe looked down the darkened street, then out his window at the gang of adolescent males walking towards them. While the GPS unit squawked and recalculated, Joe shoved the car into reverse and returned home another way.
Speaking of returning home another way, those wise guys from the east faced a similar dilemma. Having chased a star over wilderness, rivers, and mountains, they left their gifts for baby Jesus and pointed their camels home. But God had other plans.
Over the next few days many of us will announce our plans for the coming year. Lose weight, lose debt…lose interest in both. When God speaks through a vision or friend or His Word, we can follow his voice or follow our familiar ways but we can never return home. God will not allow it. Our tendency is to reflect fondly on the “good old days” and call them paradise, but if you attempt to cling to the past, you will find yourself its slave.
This is the consequence of an encounter with God. Once you have experienced a revelation of His truth. you will never be the same again.
Is God calling you to a new way, new path? Has he blocked your escape through a job loss, health issue, or abrupt change in a relationship? Ask for clear vision in the darkness.
Then follow the light.
And yes, Joe and Debbie did return home safely via another route. They’ve yet to go back to Indianapolis.