You are planning a cross country trip to California from your home in New York City. You and your family pack your bags, take the dog to the kennel, put a temporary stop on your mail, and do all the things needed to prepare for a three week trip.
You all pile into your SUV and off you go. You plan to take the historic Lincoln Highway, which opened in 1913 as the first coast-to-coast road in the United States. It originates near your home, at Times Square, and ends 3,389 miles later in San Francisco’s Lincoln Park. By the time you get into Ohio, the trip seems monotonous, so you decide to change routes. You replace your GPS and maps with a compass and simply begin driving west. You begin following the “Go west, young man” advice popularized during America’s westward expansion in the 1800s.
Sounds foolish right? With all the navigational devices available, who in their right mind would drive across the country simply by “going west.” A compass is a valuable tool for navigation and orientation, but it probably is not the best tool for driving cross-country. Sure, eventually you will get to San Francisco by continually going west, but probably not in the most expedient and efficient way.
We sometimes navigate our way through life either by using the wrong navigational device or no device at all. We sometimes simply walk through life by “going west.” And by doing so, we make bad choices, we often never get where we want to go, and we encounter lots of wrong turns and detours along the way. Simply put, we live foolishly.
The apostle Paul offers us this advice: “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Eph 5:15-17)
(When a verse begins with the word “then,” it is imperative to go back and read the entire passage in its context. So we encourage you to read the entire section, beginning in Ephesians 4:17 and ending at 5:20.)
What Paul is saying is that a foolish person has no real strategy, no real travel plan, for life and that the foolish person misses opportunities to live for God in an evil world.
So today we ask, are you simply following the “go west” plan or do you seek God’s plan for your life?
New Bern, North Carolina