Following Point of View

Posted: 4th February 2011 by iBarnabas in Growing Deeper

I’ve come to enjoy recognizing what God is doing and even get excited (in a twisted, even ironic, sort of way) when I find that he’s turned right when I thought he was going left. It’s sometimes like a bicycle chase for me. God weaving through life jumping curbs, cutting corners and narrowly missing crashing while I pedal furiously behind trying my best to keep up. It’s hard though. He obviously knows where he’s going and I can only guess at times. He sails through the obstacles of this world and I get caught in the wake. I try to anticipate his next move and start leaning into that direction only to find that I misread him (or simply got faked out). Soon I’m alone.

It used to be that when this happened I would simply stumble and fall; get all indignant and arrogant that “I” was, and still am, right and God just has to be where I’m headed. I’d continue on my course and find myself pedaling through places I’d rather not be. Places like pride and arrogance or depression or isolation. A strange blend of knowing I was doing it right yet saddened and alone when I didn’t feel God was in it with me.

Lately I’m spending more time hanging back a bit. It’s actually much easier to keep up with God when you’re not trying to overtake him. From a safe distance I have more time to actually see where he’s turned and pick my lane to follow. From a distance I can see more of the picture. Instead of trying to guess if he’ll turn sharp to the right and cut through an obstacle, I get to see more of the road itself. It’s not as important to stay on his heals in hot pursuit as it is to not lose sight of where he’s headed. And knowing this, I have the advantage of cutting a few corners of my own to avoid mis-turns and not get myself lost.

My son has this video game that allows you to drive cars on a race course. Sometimes on big high speed tracks and sometimes through city streets. The game lets you choose your viewpoint from sitting inside the car, floating just above and behind it, or a bit higher and further back. I usually try sitting inside first because “I’m such a great driver that I can whoop this thing like a real driver”. Moments later I’m floating above the car because I keep missing the tight curves and crashing or spinning out. Eventually I pull back as far as I can to see as much of the track as possible ‘before’ I get to it. This gives me time to judge my braking and steering. I crash less this way. I still lose nearly every race to my son but I crash less and have more fun. And I finish the race.

Lately I’ve pulled back a bit to get a better view of the track that God has me on. Back far enough to make better decisions about when to accelerate and when to brake. How hard to turn and when to run flat out. Like racing with my son, it’s more important to be there than to beat him.

Recently I thought I had an idea of where God was leading me. It was a track I’d been on before so I was pretty confident in picking up a little speed. Then, all of a sudden, I realized that he was turning slightly. He was running on the same track but in a different lane. One that took me to a new place; new job, new church, new home, new community. Everything looked very familiar yet… Different. As if God was directing my track but keeping it ‘interesting’. Almost like he was challenging me to see if I would continue to move with him or try to overtake him and run my own race.

Last night we (my wife and I) attended a smallgroup event at our new church “Centerpoint Church” in Valrico. The event was designed to introduce the various smallgroups available and encourage the church family to get involved in those groups. Leading up to the event I thought I had a very good idea where God was taking us. We’d led smallgroups before so I just knew he was leading us to start a similar group here. However, at the last minute God turned slightly right when I thought he was going left.

Now, as I lay here in bed and reflect on the people we’ve met since starting to attend this church. When I recall the hand shakes and introductions from last night, and the people we are already praying for. When I consider all of the road I’ve driven on, following God (and often getting lost), I feel as though God has us on a slightly different track – for now. It’s not time to lead a new smallgroup but to foster relationships within existing groups. It’s not time to take off on a familiar track but to follow God on a new adventure.

I’m on unfamiliar road but I’m okay. I’ve pulled my drivers point of view as far back as I can and am concentrating more on staying on the track than catching up. I’m not interested in overtaking God but getting to where he’s leading. It’s more fun and a whole lot safer this way.

God has directed us in so many things in our lives. Including helping us find our way out of some pretty bad wrecks. He’s led us to Valrico and to Centerpoint. And now he’s leading us into relationships within this church family. Not quite on the track I thought we’d be heading down – but in the same direction.

Thank you God for leading the way.

•••

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”
~ Matthew 16:24-25 (NIV)

  1. Thank you! Life is easy when we let go and let God! Love you.

  2. Bryant Golden says:

    Good stuff Grant. I relate to this so much in my own life. Enjoyed this post.