Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; (Proverbs 8:1-2)
As some are aware, I have been on vacation the last couple of weeks. We traveled over 2500 miles to visit family in Iowa and Minnesota. Of course like most, we utilized “Google Maps” for our journey. We placed our confidence and trust in this modern technology to help arrive at our destination safe and sound.
As we were entering Minneapolis, the voice sounded, telling us there was a delay ahead and to save time we should exit at the next ramp. Of course, I promptly disregarded the voice as it would have led me downtown, a place I certainly did not want to venture to on a Thursday at 4:30 in the afternoon.
However, what I discovered was I-35 North soon became a parking lot, and there we sat. It appeared Google Maps was correct, there was a delay. A delay I did not see coming, yet it was a delay nonetheless. The longer I sat in traffic, the more I regretted not listening to the voice speaking through the speakers in the car. But how could Google Maps make a decision in my best interest when it did not have all the facts about my situation? How could it tell me which direction I needed to go in order to avoid the biggest problem?
What I failed to remember was Google Maps was able to see things I could not see. Through some strange process, none of us completely understand, Google Maps attains information about traffic patterns and accidents we cannot see. It then places this information in a program to figure out the next quickest way to arrive at our destination.
All throughout our lives we come to crossroads where we must make decisions. When we were young, many of the decisions were made for us by parents or other adults who played a part in our upbringing. As young adults, we grew up making some of our decisions and often times had to suffer consequences for some of the wrong choices we made.
Even as older adults there are choices we must make in taking care of our parents or planning for our personal lives after retirement. These are choices which often become more and more difficult as we age due to our faculties beginning to decline and fears about our future increasing. The need to make choices never ends and there is literally a crossroad at every corner.
Fortunately we see from the passage above we do not have to make these choices in a vacuum. We can make these choices with “wisdom” and “understanding” by our sides. But where does wisdom come from? In Proverbs 9:10, we are told fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This fear does not mean living in terror but instead having a reverence for a gracious loving God who cares for us.
Is it any wonder it seems the world is full of people making bad decisions? Our culture continually pushes God to the side and says He is not needed, yet we see poor choices made repeatedly. James tells us, if any lacks wisdom we are to simply ask and God gives it generously (James 1:5). Sadly, most will not ask God for wisdom and understanding concerning decisions or circumstances because we believe we have become more wise than God.
The results can be much like those I found myself facing on the outskirts of Minneapolis. Even though a voice was telling me over the speakers to turn at the next opportunity in order to avoid troubling circumstances which would delay my arrival, I chose to follow my own path and ended up being delayed over an hour.
While Google Maps has the ability to see things we cannot see, God has even greater capabilities to see things we cannot see and He desires for us to follow His instructions and listen to His voice as He calls out to us about the direction we need to go.
However, much of the time things of the world have our attention and we are not listening for His voice. We instead would rather follow our own path and lean on our own understanding instead of seeking wisdom from above.
Ask for wisdom and listen for His voice.