God leads, always. I follow...mostly. I'm learning to do that, more and more, rather than to turn and run in another direction, as a rebellious child might do. Life is not a game of Risk. It is serious stuff, and I've come to learn a few lessons along the way. One of them is that there is much danger in taking the wrong route.
One very practical lesson was given to me one evening. I was fairly new to the area and was learning my way around. One evening, I had to attend a meeting in a neighboring city. I took the wrong route, thinking that it was the correct road. After a quick phone call to a church member who also would be attending, she met me along the way, and I followed behind her to the meeting place. At the end of the evening, she asked if I knew the way home, if she got me to Hwy 8, and I told her that if she got me to Main St, I'd be just fine. So, I followed her to the light at Main St, a four way intersection. She went left, over the railroad tracks, and I thought she was taking another way home, so I turned right, thinking I was going toward Hwy 8.
Within a few minutes, I realized I was not where I should have been. This road was narrow and very dark, and seemed to be heading into a rural area. rather than a business district. As I passed a school, in the dim street light, I could see some young men in a group on the sidewalk. At the next turn, I steered the car into the lane, and then into the driveway at a rundown house. The road was so narrow, with a drainage ditch on the other side, so I had to do multiple maneuvers to get the car turned around. By the time I was able to drive the 50 or 60 feet to the corner, one of the young men was standing on the dark corner. He began to yell at me, and walked in front of my van in the light of my headlights. He then turned and began to walk toward my drivers side door. Fear gripped me. My doors were locked, but still, I was aware that if he wanted to, he could break the glass and I would be at his mercy. Knowing that he was not in line for me to mow him down, I turned the wheel and sped the car as fast as I could, back toward Main Street.
About then, my cell phone rang. I couldn't get to it, as I hurried away from a potentially dangerous situation. When I got back to the intersection where I'd made the wrong turn, the phone rang again. It was Becky asking if I'd turned right, when she turned left. "Yes" I answered. She gave me the correct instructions, and I followed them, getting myself back on the right path toward home.
I'd prayed from the moment I realized I was not where I was meant to be, and all the way back to my own neighborhood. God was with me through the whole thing, but anxiety causes my heart to race when I think of what might have happened that night.
When the Lord tells us to go a specific way, He is telling us that for a reason. He is directing us in safety. He is sending us where He knows we belong. When we head off on our own, there is no telling the danger that we might encounter. Yes, He will be there with us, but disobedience always has it's consequences, and would I be rescued from danger if I've not followed the direction? I can only hope so, but why take the chance.
My lesson has been learned. He leads. I will follow.