Life’s too short to waste wandering the grocery store

There’s a popular stereotype that men hate asking for directions. Sitcoms have played with the concept for years, and in many instances it’s true. I don’t really know any guys who will voluntarily ask for directions. But it’s not just limited to men. I hate asking for directions. I’d much rather find my own way.

As I was posting about how poor my sense of direction is yesterday, I got to chuckling about my own proclivities to wander around until I find landmarks that look familiar. Would it be easier to ask someone which way I should go? Absolutely. But do I do it? Absolutely not! I won’t even ask for directions in a grocery store. I’d rather find it myself, even if that requires that I spend a lot more time and effort.

Maybe that’s pride. I don’t know. And maybe spending too much time looking for peanut butter isn’t a big deal, but if you get into the habit of refusing to ask for directions in the small things, it won’t be long before you refuse to ask for directions in bigger things.

Sign on the Galveston Ferry, crossing between Galveston Beach and Jamaica Beach - Texas

Sign on the Galveston Ferry, crossing between Galveston Beach and Jamaica Beach, Texas

Today’s verse is Psalm 25:12.

Who are those who fear the Lord?
    He will show them the path they should choose.

I hate asking for directions for anything. Does anyone else feel that way? I don’t know if that’s a pride thing or not, but that’s me. I want people to know that I’m not high maintenance, that I can figure things out on my own without bothering them. So I’d rather not ask for directions, especially if it’s something I can think through logically.

However, there are some things in life that nobody can figure out. Sometimes things happen to us that don’t make sense without asking for God’s help. We get hurt. People we love get hurt or sick. We lose our jobs. We face all sorts of trials and tests and challenges, and if we refuse to ask for God’s direction at times like that, there’s a good chance we’ll take a wrong turn.

It’s not that we’d be hopelessly lost. No one is hopelessly lost when it comes to God. But we may end up making a lot more trouble for ourselves if we insist on going our own way. And it’s not that we don’t want God in our lives. We just want to make our own decisions, we want to go our own way, we want to do things ourselves. And on one hand, I don’t suppose there’s anything wrong with that. But think about the toddlers who insist on dressing themselves before they know how. They end up with clothes on backwards and shoes on wrong. Not dangerous but kind of silly. But how often are independent-minded toddlers satisfied with just dressing themselves? They want to do everything, and they want to do it on their own. Sure. Cute. But what would happen if you let that toddler drive the car or walk to the store or work in the kitchen?

A parent who lets their little child do things like that wouldn’t be called a very good parent. Why? I mean, aren’t you supposed to encourage independence? Aren’t you supposed to let kids explore who they are? Well, I guess. But is it a good idea to let them experience things they aren’t ready for, things they don’t understand? Of course not. A toddler driving a car? That’s a terrible idea! Not only could they get themselves killed but they could hurt other people around them.

Are we so different when we demand to live life our own way in spite of listening to what God has told us?

Refusing to listen to God is pride. Refusing to accept God’s directions, even though they’ve been plain to us, is pride. And pride is always dangerous, no matter what form it takes. If you’re refusing to take God at His Word because you think you know better, you’re just asking for trouble.

So stop fighting Him and start listening. Trust me, it’s not as bas as you think. And it really is a time saver. God wants the best for us. He’s not trying to squash our fun. He just wants to prevent us from making mistakes that will plague us for the rest of our lives. The good thing about asking for directions is that you can get where you need to be faster. You can accomplish more. Isn’t that better? After all, life is really too short to waste time wandering around the grocery store searching for peanut butter when all you have to do is ask for it.

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