It can happen anytime—I’m talking about getting lost. Before the days of the GPS, the map and I were good friends, because I admit I get lost very easily. Some people are blessed with a sense of direction—but not me.
I can be driving in the wrong direction—just ask my wife. I thank God every time I get in my car that the GPS is working—well, most of the time anyway. Have you ever been lost? I think you probably have—it happens often. The experience of losing a young child in a busy shopping mall can be unpleasant, and even scary. But it can happen so quickly. And then in a large car park—losing your car. That has happened to me. It’s very annoying and frustrating and can waste a lot of valuable time.
I like the story that goes back over 50 years, about a man named Hugh Moorhead—and he had a hobby. His hobby was writing to famous philosophers, scientists and authors and asking them one question: What is the purpose of life? And what was disappointing was that none of Moorhead’s correspondents could tell him what the meaning of life was. One notable person wrote back, “I have no answers to the meaning of life and I no longer want to search for any.” This is what others said:
- Russian-born American author and biochemist Isaac Asimov wrote back, “As far as I can see there is no purpose to life.”
- Famous American psychiatrist Albert Ellis said, “As far as I can tell, life has no special or intrinsic meaning or purpose.”
- American philosopher Thomas Nagle, “I’m afraid the meaning of life still eludes me.”
- German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Life is an unprofitable episode that disturbs an otherwise blessed state of non- existence.”
- Swiss psychiatrist Karl Jung, wrote, “I don’t know what the meaning or the purpose of life is but it looks like as if there were something meant by it.”
Now, as you can tell from their comments, these people had no idea if life has any purpose or value or ‘direction’. And individuals who have no direction in life are literally ‘lost’.
Life Can Have Direction
I hope you’re not lost this morning. There are lots of people in this world that are the same way. Life has no direction, no purpose. And they can end up feeling lost. Like they’re trapped in a hole from which they’ll never get out.
But if we have a look at the Bible, and Proverbs 16 especially, it tells us that life doesn’t have to be that way. If we follow God, we will know where we’re going and the road will be much more pleasant if we invite God along for the ride.
The book of Proverbs says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (NLT) What it’s saying is this: Everybody makes plans for their lives, whether you’re working, retired, or going to school or university. And there’s nothing wrong with making plans.
Then it says, “Plans succeed through good counsel; don’t go to war without wise advice.” Proverbs 20:18 (NLT) And “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5 (NLT)
So there’s nothing wrong with making plans. But Proverbs says no matter what plans you may make, God decides where those plans will take you. And that’s an important biblical fact we should take seriously. So, I’m saying that the Bible teaches us that there’s nothing wrong with making our personal plans. You can know where you want to go. But as Proverbs 19:21 says, “We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.” (The Message)
You can make all the plans you want to make but you better figure God in there somewhere, because without God in your plans you’re going to feel lost.
(To be continued in Finding Your Way – Part 2)