I have always appreciated shortcuts in life. If I can find a shortcut, I will take it because time is valuable to me. I take pride in coming up with a shortcut that actually saves me time.
Last week I had to go clear across town for my appointment with my eye doctor.
My eye appointment went rather well, and I was happy with the results. I had made the appointment very close to the next appointment I needed on the other side of town.
As I left the doctor's office, I thought I would take a different route to go on the other side of town for my next appointment. I’ve lived in this town for quite a few years, and I thought I knew every street in this town. But I guess I didn't know everything I needed to know.
Driving down one block, I noticed a street to my right that I thought I recognized, and so I made the turn and followed that street. Then I came to a street that took another right, and so I followed that. As I was driving through, I didn't recognize anything that I could remember.
Just then, I saw a street sign to the right that I kind of remembered and gladly turned down that street believing I was going to get their way ahead of my schedule and I would have plenty of time. I was smiling as I was driving down that street.
As I was driving, I recognized some of the buildings on both sides of the street and was very confident that I had it made.
My only regret was that I didn't have the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage with me to boast about my shortcuts. If there's one thing she doesn't like, it’s my shortcuts. According to her, my shortcuts always create problems. Boy, I wish she was with me now!
The more I drove down the street, the more familiar the buildings became. And then I saw it and could not believe what I saw.
On the right side of the street was the eye doctor's office I had left about 20 minutes ago. I could not believe this was happening to me. Looking at my watch, I realized I'm not going to make my next appointment on time. I did not know what to do.
The only thing I could do at the time was call and cancel that appointment. The bad side is, I would have to explain to my wife why I canceled that appointment. When she hears of my shortcut plan, she is going to stare at me with one of "those stares" and then say, "What have I told you about your shortcuts?"
I just couldn’t put a new plan together that would solve the problems that I had right now.
As I drove away from the eye doctor's office, I thought of what David said, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye” (Psalm 32:8).
Sometimes I'm tempted to take a shortcut in my relationship with God. I sometimes think that I know better than God, and it always ends up in some level of tragedy.
[Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.]