Running in Circles
Over the years I (Jim) have made a serious commitment to keep in shape by jogging. On occasion, this decision has presented its own set of unique problems. For instance, the time I was jogging in Paris, France. While I was there visiting a missionary friend and his family, I decided to get up early before our meetings began and go for a run. It was a glorious spring day, the kind Paris is famous for. So off I went.
As I ran, I sort of paid attention to my surroundings. But then, as I usually do when I’m running, I got lost in my thoughts. I always run for a specific number of minutes, so that morning, when half of my allotted time was up, I turned around to head back to my friend’s apartment building. But to my surprise, when I did my about-face, nothing looked familiar! It was still very early in the morning, so only a few people were out. And the street signs and storefronts were in French…of which I did not know even one word to use in asking for help. Basically, I was lost in Paris!
That’s when I told myself that if I ran around for a while, eventually I would see a familiar sight and would then know how to make my way back. But after running around in circles for some time, nothing was looking even remotely familiar! It was then I began to get nervous. Why hadn’t I thought to bring my friend’s address, or at least his phone number? I had even left my passport at the apartment. And if I didn’t get out of this mess soon, I could see myself lost forever on the streets of Paris!
Friends, when all else fails, pray. Now, isn’t that usually the way it goes? I didn’t think of praying until I was about ready to push the panic button. “Lord,” I asked, “please show me something that will help guide me back to the apartment.”
Was it “coincidence,” or answered prayer? (I think you know the answer!) Almost before I could finish my cry to God, I saw it—the Talbot truck showroom sign. Why had the sign made such an impression? It’s because Talbot is the name of the seminary where I received my theological training. And for that reason I had made a special note of the truck showroom when I passed by it. Within ten minutes, I was safely back at the apartment.
Have you ever had a similar experience? Were you lost and in need of directions? Or were you in the midst of serious decision-making as a couple and needed guidance? Well, God has a promise just for you!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6 nasb).
Take note: In this promise from God, He does not guarantee that any one of us won’t get lost in a foreign city. But He does promise to give you a lifetime of guidance…if you want it.
Lord, You promise guidance when we need it. May we always bring our needs to You right away!