A Fork in the Road

Several years ago I traveled with a friend to the Keweenaw Peninsula – one of the most beautiful areas in the country. At that time, I had never been to Copper Harbor, but my traveling companion had. North of Hancock, there is only one main route, US-41, that will take you there. However, if you are so inclined, when you reach Eagle River you can turn off the main road onto State Route 26 which eases slowly up the shoreline offering breathtaking views of one of the most spectacular bodies of freshwater on Earth – Lake Superior.Keweenaw Peninsula

My friend, having been to the Keweenaw previously, was quite adamant about staying on the main route because it was faster, more direct, and that was the way they always went. But I remembered hearing something interesting about Eagle Harbor, which is along the lesser route, and really felt we should go that way.

Unfortunately I discovered that as I continued to suggest this, my friend went from mildly annoyed at my naivety to increasingly frustrated at me for questioning their wisdom in the matter. In no uncertain terms I was told that the main road was THE road leading directly to Copper Harbor and to take the turn-off would not only slow us down, but offered nothing that would make the time worthwhile.

For them, the issue boiled down to this: their experience trumped my opinion. They were right – I was wrong. I learned something about my friend that day. I also learned something personally beneficial, but it didn’t click until much later.

As I think back on this and similar situations, I remember feeling defeated. It’s disheartening when you try to convey your thoughts or opinion about something, and are met with hostility by people who have to be in control. Maybe I will discover that I am wrong, but at least be willing to listen to what I have to say. Discuss it with me and help me to understand your view as you try to understand mine. Healthy communication requires at least two people be engaged in an exchange of ideas and thoughts.

It can be even more disheartening when this happens among Believers. Respect grows when Godly authority and leadership is willing to listen and ready to pray about an issue together. But there is another lesson to be learned here; one that is becoming more glaringly obvious to me lately: Just let go.

God is the final Authority. Just as God handled the situation on the Keweenaw, He will handle the important issues in life. In fact, He already has. He has plans for our life that are for our good, and no matter who comes along to tell us “It’s my way or no way”, God will work things out for our good when we seek His will.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

I have certainly been wrong before. I’ve made bad decisions. I will not hesitate to admit that I have been heading down the wrong path, stubbornly running into road block after road block before God can get my attention. As I learn to let go of the issues I cannot control anyway, it frees my spirit to say: Your will, Lord, not mine.

And if the other person needs to learn some things then God will take care of that, too…

Giving up, I closed my mouth. We took US-41. Then we came to a dead stop 8 miles in. Cars were not getting through and we were forced to turn around. We went back to the turn-off at Eagle River and meandered up the shore.

As you pass through Eagle Harbor you will come to Jacob’s Falls and a turn-off where there is a small bakery called The Jampot. This bakery is operated by monks of The Society of St. John Monastery. They mix it, make it, and bake it…and it is amazing! Trust me when I say you have not experienced anything like this.

I am still learning what God is teaching, and what I have learned lately is to let go and let God take care of me. 

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What does the Lord require?

Hello. If you are reading this, my inaugural post on What God is Teaching, Thank You and Welcome!! I hope that you find the things I share interesting and relatable…or, at least, debatable.

I have, for some time, felt God tugging at my heart and impressing on me the need to share some things from my journey. But procrastination happens for a variety of reasons – intimidation, fear, laziness, or perhaps it boils down to the fact that we really just don’t want to do something. Whatever the reason, we delay, but in the end, I believe, we must do what we are called by God to do.

To be completely honest, I am very reluctant to post things about my walk with God – my struggles, sorrow, and joy – because when things become personal we begin to feel vulnerable, and vulnerability is extremely uncomfortable. But I am reminded and encouraged by these words from Paul as he shared about his pleading with the Lord: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

And that verse is my encouragement as I jump into this.

I’m not a complicated person. I think I am fairly straightforward, and I appreciate direct communication that gets to the point…like the verse at the top of this blog page: Micah 6:8 – And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

I love that Scripture! Communication really doesn’t get any more straightforward than that. There is no room for misunderstanding or confusion in that verse. Is it always easy to do what is asked of us in Micah 6:8? Certainly not! But as I sometimes struggle with the complex issues that flow from relationships and events in life, it is helpful in gaining perspective when I take a step back and weigh the situation against those words.

Lately more than ever before, I am weighing my thoughts, my actions, my words, and my decisions against them: And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

How do your actions measure up to what the Lord requires of you?