As well as working for the Vine, I work four days a week in the education software sector. I tend to spend my time working from London, Bedford, Nottingham and my favourite location home. The routes to these offices are very familiar, so much so, I could probably travel them with my eyes closed.
I was driving home from Bedford this week when I suddenly found myself not going along the A1 but rather going off it. I was happily drifting left, over the dotted white line towards the side of the road and off onto a slip road taking me somewhere I did not want to go. I realised that I was taking the wrong road, signalled and steered back onto the road.
I wasn’t distracted, I wasn’t asleep. So, why did this happen?
It was simple I just followed the road. My driving was not intentional, I simply followed the road, which at that point had turned into an exit to another road. I blindly followed the car in front of me not considering it was taking me somewhere I had not intended going. It is so easy to do that when you are driving. Especially when you are on a very familiar stretch of road and when you have been on that road for a considerable time.
Life is pretty similar - it is so easy to stay on the same old track or follow the people around you; not considering that the destination you are heading for is not the one that you really wanted to go to.
When you drive a car, you have two ways to do it. You follow along or you drive with intentional direction. The same is true in life. You either follow those around you and the inevitable path of life or you make the decision to live intentionally, to take charge and define your future.
Jesus was all for people deciding to live intentionally rather than simply carrying on as normal or following the crowd. A number of times in the Gospels people asked Him, how do I live better? Jesus’ response was often for them to address the blindingly obvious issue in their lives; that they already knew they should address. Jesus’ challenge to the dishonest tax man, in Luke’s Gospel was for him to deal honestly and restore what he had stolen.
January is a time that people often set themselves new goals in the form of New Year’s resolutions. By this point in February they are often abandoned and long forgotten. Maybe, now is a good time to reflect on whether we have intentionally put aside the plans we made on New Year’s eve or have we just started to follow the familiar road that is life, and have unintentionally found ourselves travelling to somewhere in life we did not plan to go?
For me I only have one New Year’s resolution: to be intentional about what I choose to do in 2020 rather than doing the same old things. And so far, I am sticking to it (most of the time) I wonder what new destinations it will take me to. If you fancy coming along to the Vine to find out feel free you would be most welcome.