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Lent Devotional: Friday, March 8

Finding your way through the wilderness isn't hard if you have a good map and compass (or smartphone). However, orienteering skills are not always perfect metaphors for life. I know my family and SMBC blessed me with a good guide and a firm foundation in setting a plan for my life. I was given every navigational tool necessary.

Unfortunately, I can be a bit of an over-planner, and these plans can get pretty strict - go to school here, be this, marry that kind of person, don't be this, etc. If all goes according to plan, everything should turn out perfectly. But what happens when there's an unexpected fork in the road? What if the relationship doesn't pan out? What if you don't get into medical school?

One of the biggest traps I set for myself is turning plans into expectations. Then, when expectation fails to become reality, I'm left wandering in the wilderness. I no longer know exactly what I'm supposed to do next. So is that a failure? Will everyone notice? What will they say?

One of my favorite things that Steve has preached in the last year is that the secret to joy is not looking to the side, but looking up. The same can be said in planning for life. Proverbs 16:9 says, "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." I have to remember that it's not a failing to be in the wilderness, but just part of the journey. Instead of helplessly looking around, look up and remember that "not all who wander are lost."


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