This Way or That Way?

Tori goes for a ride!

Chris is ready to drive!

My kids all love to be the back seat driver. The excitement of pointing and saying “This way!” for Robbie, and the van actually turning that way is really incredible for him!  He starts bouncing and giggling in his seat.  He can hardly stand the anticipation of going the direction he chose!  He is following in his brothers footsteps.

Chris has always been good with directions.  He learned his right and left around the age of 3.  When he was 2, and we would be driving somewhere that went by a favorite spot, like a park, he would become incredibly upset and start screaming and crying as we past it.  He had realized we were not going to that favorite place, but some unknown destination.  He wasn’t able to talk yet, and he also had delays in receptive language, so he didn’t understand most of what we said to him, like “We’re going to the store.”  So he was left with only what his eyes told him.  What he could see was all he had to go on.

We went to Virginia when the twins were turning 2.  The next time we went they were about almost 4 years old. When we went back at the age of 4, Chris surprised us by telling us the directions from Interstate 495 to my parents house.  This was about 5 miles, and 4-5 turns! Then, later in the same visit we went to a park we’d gone during our previous visit he was 2.  When we pulled into the parking lot (in a residential area where you can’t see the park b/c of the trees), he says, “Thank you!” and starts clapping!

Today he memorizes maps in his room when he can’t sleep (he now has Metro DC area, Washington DC and Maine maps) and he “drives” on Google Maps all the time and learns his way around different states.

Chris is like my personal GPS.  One time when I was driving him home from preschool, there  was a detour and I got lost.  I had no idea how to get back to a main road so I decided to just follow Chris’ lead.  He took me right back to the main road, so I knew where we were.  Then, just out of curiosity, being finally oriented to my surroundings,  I asked him which way to go, and he told me to go the opposite direction from what would take us home! He was ready to have  a nice long exploratory ride.

It is a good thing that God never steers us wrong.  Sometimes it may seem like He is “taking us for a ride” when we end up in a different land than we anticipated driving toward… like that story about ending up in Holland. For those who have not run across it,  it goes like this:

Holland Schmolland
by Laura Kreuger Crawford

Imagine that you are planning a trip to Italy. You read all the latest travel books, you consult with friends about what to pack, and you develop an elaborate itinerary for your glorious trip. The day arrives.

You board the plane and settle in with your in-flight magazine, dreaming of trattorias, gondola rides, and gelato. However when the plane lands you discover, much to your surprise, you are not in Italy — you are in Holland. You are greatly dismayed at this abrupt and unexpected change in plans.

You rant and rave to the travel agency, but it does no good. You are stuck. After awhile, you tire of fighting and begin to look at what Holland has to offer. You notice the beautiful tulips, the kindly people in the wooden shoes, the french fries with mayonnaise, and you think, “This isn’t exactly what I had planned, but it’s not so bad. It’s just different.”

Not only is the land not what we planned and different, but it is beautiful to be put in a place where we can learn about God in new ways, with new challenges.  Yes, we have many different circumstance than most families, but along with the “bad” different, there is the “good” different, that other families don’t typically get to experience.  This place is also a place where God is living and active, where he is teaching and healing. It is truly an adventure with the ultimate Guide.

In this adventure, and in all of life, He desires to guide us and tell us which way to turn.  We don’t need to wander aimlessly even in an area with so many unanswered questions.  Isaiah 30:21  “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

In addition to God willingness to guide us, He also desires for us to trust him enough to ask him for directions.  Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make your paths straight.”

Our adventure, when with ears that listen and the perfect Guide, is a good place to be… Let the adventures begin!

Romans 8:28  “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.



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1 Comment

  1. Debbie said,

    May 27, 2010 at 7:30 AM

    Amen Merri!! Great piece!!
    So many hang on to their choices instead of laying the steering wheel in our heavenly Father’s hands.
    Nathaniel, who was 10 last year, had only been to the MN state fair when he was very small. We had a chance to volunteer w/ a swim group and clean along w/ free admission-so we split our family in 2 and took shifts. That boy knew his way around fast and in a huge fairgrounds always knew which direction things were, where to find dad and his team, etc.


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