We’re exploring Big Bend National Park. It took an hour to get from our hotel to the entrance of the park, then another 45 minutes to get to the visitor center. From there we made our trek using the maps the park rangers provided us – along with some helpful recommendations. Tomorrow our circuit will be a 5-hour trip, not including any stops, hikes, or delays. I’ve mapped it out on my phone. Should be quite a day. The maps and planning will help us make the most of our time here, and allow us to see the sights we are interested in.
When it comes to our walk of faith, however, roadmaps are seldom available, and often unhelpful. We map out our lives, our plans for job, family, career, and retirement. We may even have a plan for our final days and even our funeral. Those may also be good and helpful.
But there are always adjustments to be made – unless we hew stubbornly to a path in spite of the danger or warning signs we encounter. Tom Peters observed, in fact, that companies that have strategic plans and adhere to them are not as successful as those who have strategic plans and make adjustments to them along the way. We may think we know where we need to go, but we may be mistaken. We may need to make adjustments.
When the disciples ask Jesus if this was to be the time he would restore the kingdom to Israel, he not only didn’t answer. He told them it was not for them to know. A roadmap to the future would be a hindrance, not a help to faith. Jesus would supply a different sort of roadmap. Start in Jerusalem, go on to Judea, proceed to Samaria, and go to the ends of the earth. That’s not a roadmap. But it is a plan they were to follow…one step at a time. He also promises the Holy Spirit to them as their source of power for their journey.
Ours (yours and mine) may not be as daunting as the disciples in Jerusalem. But it is no less a calling, requiring the Holy Spirit’s power and strength. There are no maps for this life’s journey. But Jesus promises to be with us every step of the way. Wherever we go and however we serve him.