The Excitement of Exploring
Listen to Audio (right click to save)
Our kids learned what "shun piking" is at a very early age. That expression actually goes back to Colonial days when people would leave or "shun" the pike, the main road, and take side roads. Today, it's just a good word to describe getting intentionally lost - just exploring some of those side roads you've never been on to see things you've never seen. Apparently, this shun piking thing has been inherited by the next generation. The other day our daughter took our three-year-old grandson on one of those crazy adventures on some unexplored back roads. And he saw lots of things he never saw before. When she asked him if he was ready to go home, he told her he wanted to keep going. His reason? "I liked exploring."
The same old scenery gets boring after a while. It's exciting to explore some new ground. That may be exactly what your Lord is trying to get you to do right now - to dare to leave that safe, predictable road you always travel on and follow Him into something new and exciting. And, yes, unknown and unpredictable.
Listen to His invitation, and command, in our word for today from the Word of God in Isaiah 43:18-19. "Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" Could it be that God is setting out before you some new ground to explore? You'll miss it if you insist on hanging on to the same old way of doing things, the same old security blankets. Spiritual cocooning - curling up in this "status quo" comfort zone - is a sure way to miss the ever-dynamic, ever-groundbreaking will of God.
God may be saying, "Look at the new thing I'm putting in front of you!" But you can't see it because you keep looking back at the old thing. This addiction to what's safe and comfortable and familiar afflicts individual believers, churches, ministries. God may even be trying to stretch your understanding of Him and how He works; to see Him and your relationship with Him in a new and more powerful way.
Of course, exploring new ground implies that you don't know exactly what you're going to encounter; how you're going to have what you need to meet whatever is on the new road. Listen to God's next statement here: "I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." OK, you can't see a way - God says, "I'm going to amaze you by making a way where there is no way." You can't see where the resources are going to come from - God says, "I'm going to send resources where there seem to be no resources - 'streams in the wasteland.'"
But you'll miss all of it if you won't leave the road you've been on for so long. There is incredible beauty; there are thrilling discoveries on unexplored roads. It's time to say to the Lord, "I'm ready for more, Lord. I'm opening your Word now looking for some new discoveries. I'm listening to Bible teaching and worshiping, looking for the new things You want to say to me. And Lord, I'm following You wherever You want to take me...whatever the risks." The Bible calls that "the good and perfect and pleasing will of God."
Could it be that God's leading you to a new season in your life, or maybe a new approach or a new challenge? Don't be afraid to go with your Father onto a road that you have never been on before. Like my grandson, you may end up saying, "Father, I like exploring!"