Friday, January 21, 2011

Are you headed the right way?

by Niki Turner

"If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else." ~Yogi Berra
Even with the advent of GPS, my husband and I have an almost supernatural knack for getting lost when we travel together. On our way home from our anniversary trip to Las Vegas we missed a turn. Okay, we missed THE turn. About a half hour later hubby glanced at the GPS and noticed the blinking dot that represented our position was no longer aligned with our projected route home. Oops.

We laughed it off. After 20 years of marriage, we've been lost more times than I care to recall. It's something of a family joke. My husband has a flawed sense of direction and refuses to listen to me when I navigate for him, so I don't play navigator anymore. It's funny in those family vacation situations. Not so funny when we're talking about the course our lives take.  
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. ~Henry David Thoreau
 What direction are you going? Is your life heading toward the future you envision, toward what you really want for yourself and your family? I keep trying to get this message across to my kids: The choices they make set the direction for their futures. When they make dumb decisions, I'm compelled to point out that they might not like the destination for which they are aiming. 

But I'm no different...
God has been bugging me about how I spend my time. (Does God ever "bug" you? I'm glad He does, it reminds me He loves me enough to correct me!) I might be "wise" enough to be cautious in my choice of companions these days, and smart enough to shy away from activities that could have legal repercussions, but I'm not always wise in my use of time—the most valuable commodity I possess.

Every minute, every hour, every day and week and month are like miles under our tires when we're on a journey. Am I making decisions that propel me in the direction I desire to go? Or am I just idling away the hours in the driveway, going nowhere fast? 

As we spend our time we need to ask ourselves (and the Lord): Is this activity taking me in the direction I desire to go? Don't limit your examination to physical activity, either. Emotional and mental activities are as powerful (if not more powerful) than physical behaviors in determining our course. Just as failing to exercise and eat right have negative health consequences, bitterness and unforgiveness will take you to a lonely destination you don't want to visit. Worry and fretting are guaranteed to pull you away from your God-ordained course for an extraordinary life. 
The sailors of old, the pilots of today, and the wise travelers among us chart their course ahead of time. It's not too late. You can get anywhere from where you are right now. If you aren't heading in the right direction, it's time to change direction. Just because you missed a turn, went the wrong way, or got lost is no reason to give up and go on autopilot! Set your course today! Are you headed in the right direction?

18 comments:

  1. Nothing like poking me right between the eyes, Niki. I definitely waste too much time. And my good intentions never quite get me caught up.

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  2. Very good encouragement this morning.

    On a funnier note, my 1/16th Native American shows up in my amazing sense of direction (also in my ability to dance wildly to percussive music, but that has nothing to do with your post.) My sister is the same way with directions. Our husbands have both had to come to grips with the facts that the girls get to be the Indian tracker guides in our families. My dad is the sort that you could drop him anywhere in the woods and he could easily find his way home. Very helpful when he worked part time as a limo driver.

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  3. Good Morning Niki and Inkies,
    The college closed today so I get to stay home and write. So what am I doing? Visiting blogs. Hey, but you gals are special.
    I think it's hard to stay on course all the time. It's one of my personal goals to do a better job of it this year.
    I am on course but the television and the internet are my biggest weaknesses. It's a challenge to come home from a day job and then get to the writing as soon as possible. But like writing, I think it's all about pacing.
    Have a great weekend!

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  4. I'm sorry, Lisa! The giant time wasting LOG in my eye must have swung around and poked you! : )

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  5. Thanks, Dina! And now I have a plausible reason why - no matter what city we get lost in - when I take the wheel we end up at a mall. Usually a very nice, very pricey mall. It's my 1/8th Jewishness coming out!

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  6. Jill, the internet and books are my biggest time suckers. And the Scrabble game on my iPhone. *sigh*
    I agree, it is hard to come home from work and practice BIC, especially if you've been in a chair or on a computer all day! I think Deb had the right idea... writing early in the morning before work. Now to figure out how to get up on time!

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  7. Excellent post, Niki. I'm trying to stay on course. I believe I have 2 courses that I'm working with:

    - keeping the church blog and website that I started current; and

    - writing what I need to be writing ie current wip and upcoming blogposts

    For both the above, I easily lose sight of what I'm supposed to be doing. When I go to the church website, instead of updating it, I see ways to improve the 'look' and then I think of my own stagnant website look and the next thing, a hour has gone by while I searched for the perfect 'look'.

    For my writing, it's when I need to do a bit of research and the next thing I know, I have a list of all the museums I want to visit this summer, etc.

    And speaking of which, I spent about 6 hrs in research this week when I could've been writing. Yes, the research needed to be done either now or later, but what I should've been doing is updating the church website so everyone knows it's potluck and the AGM on Sunday!

    So... heading into html country now. Anyone got a gps for that? Haha

    Anita Mae.

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  8. Anita, I could use a GPS for HTML too! I spend more time wandering around the web looking for good pictures and design ideas than I do writing!

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  9. Oooh, very convicting post for sure! I try to set a course but I end up taking wrong turns here and there. Good reminder of that.

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  10. A nice reminder today, Niki. I hope my internal GPS starts its "Recalculating" the moment I go off course. I think it does. I don't always make that U Turn right away, though...

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  11. Thanks for visiting, Jennifer!
    I think if I had an aerial view of my daily course it would look pretty silly... I'd like it to be a little more consistent!

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  12. Deb, that reminds me of when hubby and I got lost IN Vegas on the way to our hotel. We had the "voice" on the GPS, but we kept turning too soon so it kept recalibrating over and over. I think if it had been a real person they would have thrown up their hands and screamed!

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  13. Niki, you're so good at these life-lesson posts. I always learn something from you. Tv and computer games are my biggest time wasters, and yes, I do believe God is trying to get that message across to me and I need to listen more. Thanks for this, Niki, and I love the Yogi Berra quote.

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  14. God is good that way, isn't He? Always talking to us in ways that we can relate to! Thanks, Suzie!

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  15. A great post! Yes, I am trying to stay the course, keeping up with my writing is a big one, and so far it's going well. When I get off track I usually am the first one to slap myself!

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  16. Catherine,
    Writing is one of the hardest things to stay on course with, I think! LOL, now I want one of those back scratchers shaped like a hand. I'll use it to slap myself! Thanks for visiting!

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  17. I appreciate it when God pokes me, too--it shows me He's not willing for me to stay stuck on the side of the road, lost.

    Thanks for a great post!
    Jen

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