When out for a leisurely walk, or for a morning run with Mick, there would come a point in the route where he would want to take the lead and would pull with nearly all his might to take me in the way he wanted to go. This wasn’t just the straining at the lead that many puppies do – some adult dogs, too – no, this was a more determined attempt to persuade me to stray from our “appointed rounds”.
On occasion, I would allow him to lead for a short time until we were so off course that it would require more time to get back on course then we had allotted or until he discovered that it wasn’t really the way he thought it was – whichever came first. The interesting aspect of these course changes was that once back on course and headed in the proper direction, he would relax and fall into stride until we arrived back home.
Don’t we tend to fall into that same trap? We’re off on a certain course in life when, for whatever reason, we think we know better when it comes to our life’s direction than the One who started us off on our journey in the first place. And just as it was with Mick, we strain and pull and jerk around until our Master allows us to go in the direction we wish to follow – though he knows it could result in disaster.
Now not every deviation from the course set before us is a disaster, some work out just fine, others were probably figured in to the original plan for our lives even though they are a surprise to us. The key, as also with Mick, is to either realign our destination to include these new “side ventures” or determine how to get back to the course that was laid before us.
I used to tell my children that life is like driving on a 6-8-lane highway. There’s a lot of space between the shoulders of the road, but there are shoulders. They didn’t like the fact that there were boundaries, at least at the time. And it was one of the difficult parts of parenting to help them see how much freedom there was between the “shoulders” but there were consequences of going too near those shoulders.
On this path we call life, there are many ways to get to the destination. You may like to drive down the median, others are “shoulder-huggers”. Some like the HOV lanes, while others like to stay in the center lane on their side of the highway. The options are nearly endless.
So when you find that the path you chose has led you to a place you wish you hadn’t gone (because you knew better than the One on the other end of the lead), you might give control back to the One who can see farther into the future than you. Just an idea.
In what way can you return control of your lead to the One who started you on the journey?