The World Wide Web is a magnificent, modern day tool. You are always just a click away from accomplishing some of life’s most daunting tasks, like planning a trip. Technology has given you the ability to choose any location and in minutes, discover a wealth of knowledge about that destination: photos, local attractions, the demographics, and so much more. It is a great way to see it before you get there. With this never-ending pool of information right at your fingertips, you can make travel plans, book airfare, and reserve lodging all without leaving the comforts of your home. You can actually imagine yourself already there having a good time relishing in the beauty of the sights and the tastes of the local cuisine. The only thing left to do is go and enjoy the journey.
Amidst this excursion that has been so meticulously planned out, many locations that you may have overlooked in your research will come about that can serve as pit-stops or route-markers to your ultimate destination. The same is true as we consider our everyday lives. Life is often thought of as one long journey containing a series of milestones that culminate the sum total of our time here on earth. Our hope along the way is that these milestones be filled with positive experiences and successes. However, there is a cliché that says, “To every life a little rain must fall,” and despite checking the forecast, this often proves true. We more than likely will encounter inclement conditions that cause the journey to get rough or even experience situations that bring us to a complete stop, forcing us to choose an alternate route.
As a young man, I was not well versed on taking long trips. While attending college in central Virginia, a couple of my fraternity brothers decided to travel to Buffalo, New York, during spring break to visit some of their friends. I had never been there before and decided to go along for the ride. None of us had ever driven to Buffalo, but we felt intelligent enough to figure out how to get there. Since this was before the Map Quest era (I know I am dating myself), we purchased an atlas to study maps of the east coast. We plotted out the best route and hit the road. Along the way we made a wrong turn and realized we were lost. We stopped at a local gas station and asked for directions. Once we got back on course, we were able to make the trip without any other problems and it proved to be one of the most memorable times in my life.
Although this extensive trip (that took eleven hours to complete) was thought to have been meticulously planned out, we experienced “a bit of rain” before reaching our ultimate destination. This is no different from our life goals or dreams that may take a long period of time and bring about some turbulence before we make it. Even after purchasing an atlas and studying the eastern seaboard, we still got lost and needed to ask for directions. Just like in our quests to achieve goals, we may need to study various books or even take a class to gain knowledge in order to ensure our success. It may also be necessary to ask for directions from others more knowledgeable, in an effort to get where we need to go. It was imperative that we were able to articulate our exact destination, because our inability to do so would probably have gotten us to New York but not necessarily to Buffalo, which was the ultimate goal. The same holds true when we try to plot out our direction in life. Communicating with those riding along on your journey and those from whom you seek help, will keep everyone abreast of your objectives and plans. Having everyone on the same page ensures that those in your “circle” can give proper support and guidance.
I believe we have the ability to ensure more successful journeys by following the “roadmap” laid out by the Holy Spirit. Given that God is in ultimate control of our lives, He has shown favor by giving us the ability to steer ourselves directly into the path of success. The first step in this process is realizing that we are a direct reflection of the people with whom we associate, the books we read, and the words we speak. We should always surround ourselves with people who enhance us and will help us reach our destiny. Regardless of the degrees we receive, we should also continue educating ourselves and cultivating our minds, being cognizant that the words we speak are in line with our desires. Failure in these areas could cause stumbling blocks along the path that leads us into our destiny. Accomplishing our hearts’ desires will require us, as believers, to make Destiny Decisions: specific decisions made with our destiny in mind. Along with this new found wisdom, we should clearly map out the route for our lives and begin steering in the right direction. It’s time to plot the course that will lead to the achievement of our dreams and goals. We are about to embark upon a voyage that will allow us to walk in our calling. Through this book, we will learn the fundamental keys needed to have a successful journey.