Where to? Planning Ahead is Over-Rated

Photo courtesy of Geek Philosopher

Photo courtesy of Geek Philosopher

My family vacations started nothing like my friend’s. Her dad piled wife, kids, and family pets into the car. He then drove to the end of the block where he stopped, turned to his family, and asked, “So, where to this time?”

Say what? No reservations? No destination researched and plotted with every rest stop between here and there? Hand me the brown paper bag to breathe into because just hearing her version of a family trip makes me hyperventilate. How could they not plan ahead?

Like I do, especially when I’m traveling unfamiliar territory. I’m armed with my GPS, a Mapsco opened to the page of my destination, and my husband’s directions scribbled on a scratch pad. With all three, and 30 spare minutes built in for getting lost, I should arrive.

Today my Bible reading suggested that planning ahead may be over-rated. The Israelites traveled like my friend. After they left Egypt and slavery behind, they traveled by cloud, the one God provided, and they never knew where they headed except to a land He promised.

His cloud led the way. When and wherever it stopped, they stopped. As long as the cloud stayed, they stayed. When the cloud moved, they moved. Oh, they grumbled along the way because they couldn’t see how things would turn out. (And, I’m sure I would have been among those who groused.) Yet, the cloud was always there to guide them.

Last week, I prayed as I often do, “God, where do You want me now?” This particular morning, He answered, “Just go with My cloud.”

What cloud? For me God has spoken through the cloud of peace that settles in my heart when I am where I need to be and stay, even when circumstances or situations are difficult. Other times, it’s the cloud of nagging restlessness or dissatisfaction that hums through my soul without good reason and says it’s time to move even though life is easy and I’m happy.

But where to and when? God’s answer is to watch for His cloud. He doesn’t always give me the GPS nor hand me the Mapsco of where He’s taking me. And He doesn’t scribble directions on a scratch pad. Instead, He says, “Just follow My cloud.”

When the cloud moved from its place over the Tent, the Israelites moved, and wherever the cloud stopped, the Israelites camped…Sometimes the cloud stayed over the Tent for a long time,…Sometimes the cloud was over it only a few days. (Exodus 9:17-20, NCV)

©2014 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.
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