The Shortest Yard

yardstickWisdom says that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. And I’m always looking for the straight line to my goals. The shortest yard to whatever God places on my heart. In fact, I often try to reduce that yard of a goal from thirty-six inches to twenty-four. I call it “efficient.”

So, why do things often take longer than expected? Why does God send me the long way when my eyes are fixed on Him and what He set me to do?

Why does a report that should take me twenty minutes to complete take me seventy-five? Why does economic recovery after the recession take years in spite of fiscal stimulants that should fix it in months? Why do I have to spend 10,000 hours writing to be good at it if I attend three writing conferences?

Perhaps it is Hofstadter’s Law at work. That’s the one that says anything takes longer than you expect, especially when the task is complex.

Or perhaps it is God’s Law at work. The one where He says, “The shortest way is My way.”

Like the one He worked for the Israelites when He brought them out of Egypt with the promise of freedom in a land of milk and honey. If I had been there and called to follow Moses that day, I would have expected to travel directly to the Promised Land, to reach it by the end of the week. Yet, …

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. (Exodus 13:17-18, NIV

I rarely reach the end-in-mind goal in one giant step. It takes baby steps. Why? Perhaps, like the Israelites, it’s so I won’t change my mind and return to what’s comfortable or easier. Perhaps the extra time is God helping me avoid unforeseen obstacles or preparing me to face challenges that will threaten my progress.

Perhaps the shortest yard between two points is the long way.

What’s taking you longer than expected? What’s the impact on you?

©2013 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.

About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
This entry was posted in God's Promises, Perseverance and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Shortest Yard

  1. Debbie says:

    Loved this, very insightful. Will remind me when my goal is taking longer than I’d hoped that there is usually purpose in the delay. Stop, look around, and learn.

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