With the Summer season fast approaching, many people, including myself, anxiously look to going on an enjoyable road trip for vacation. I love driving and getting to new destinations and experiencing different parts of the country with loved ones.
Upon reflection, I’m realizing that my life, in general, has followed this same pattern. I get a goal in mind (like the vacation location) and because I’m very focused on meeting my goals, I live with a very intentional mindset, keeping my blinders on to things that could be a distraction and disrupting me from accomplishing what I want to get done. It’s like I’m on a highway and wanting to get my destination as quickly as possible, and wanting to avoid all needless exits and tourist attractions along the way.
However, as so happens, God decided I needed a new perspective and He led me to His Word.
In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 7:11-17 , it says the following:
“Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him. A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother. Great fear swept the crowd, and they praised God, saying, “A mighty prophet has risen among us,” and “God has visited his people today.” And the news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding countryside. (NLT).
Do you see what is happening? Jesus is leading a large crowd down one road and they intersect with a funeral procession. At this intersection, Jesus saw the grieving widow, the bier carrying the dead boy, and the grieving people and “His heart was moved with compassion”. Exercising His divine power, Jesus touched the coffin and the boy came back to life. To state the obvious, the crowd was filled with amazement and fear, and praised God for His power and compassion.
Here’s the application the Lord wanted me to see, and maybe there’s a lesson in this for you as well.
Sure, life has some “destinations” for us to head toward, some dreams to pursue. Goals can be good things. However, the real sweet spots of life are in the unexpected “intersections” we come to. “Intersections” are the encounters we have with people and circumstances where we have the opportunity to live out the lessons God has shown us. For example, we have an opportunity to show kindness to someone because we understand God’s kindness to us. We can show mercy to others because God has been merciful to us. We can ask for God’s power to be revealed to someone in our prayers for them because we know that by faith, all things are possible with our Creator.
When you are driving your car and come to an intersection, what do you do? You slow down and look both ways to make sure it’s safe to go through. You are much more attentive to all that’s happening around you then when you are when you are alone on a rural highway where there is such little activity occurring.
So, think of “intersections” with people and circumstances as new adventures to be used by God in doing the right thing, in the right way, for the right reason>>>>for His glory. These unexpected occurrences to you are not meant to be annoyances as much as opportunities.
During an “intersection” moment with someone, could you:
* pass along a word of encouragement?
* hold your tongue from saying something that would only further the tension at the moment?
* accepting someone as having significance though the world may ridicule them?
* could you offer to pray for someone who has shared a concern with you?
* could you stop pursuing your goal for the moment (a highway mindset) and get off the exit and take the necessary time (and maybe the sacrifice of giving them money) to help someone in need?
I hope this all makes sense because this insight has kind of rocked my world. Pursue your God-given destinations, but along the way, understand that you will have “God-appointed “intersections”” , which are moments to stop living for you, and start interacting in the life of someone else.
Friends, enjoy your Summer vacation, but even more, this year, enjoy the “intersections” along the way!