Wandering…On Purpose

I doubt most of us would have anticipated a few days back how this week was going to unfold. “Snowpocalpyse 2014” brought us more than a few disruptions and detours to our “on purpose” world. Hopefully, we have all survived and are ready to get back to normal again.

The week reminded me of a story I heard several years back, that I actually included in a previous ePistleabout four years ago. I found it particularly intriguing, if only because it didn’t turn out like I expected. Life is like that, you know.
Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright used to tell of an incident from his childhood that seemed insignificant at the time, but had a profound influence on the rest of his life. The winter he was nine years old, he went walking across a snow-covered field with his reserved no-nonsense uncle. As the two of them reached the far end of the field, his uncle stopped him. He pointed out his own tracks in the snow, straight and true as an arrow’s flight, and then young Frank’s tracks meandering all over the field.
“Notice how your tracks wander aimlessly from the fence to the cattle to the woods and back again,” his uncle said. “And see how my tracks aim directly to my goal. There is an important lesson in that.”
Years later the world-famous architect liked to tell how this experience had greatly contributed to his philosophy in life. “I determined right then,” he’d say with a twinkle in his eye, “not to miss most things in life, as my uncle had.”
If you’re anything like me, I suspect you’d already jumped ahead and figured out the “moral” of Wright’s story, or at least you thought you had. How we should determine our goal and go for it, not letting anything get in the way. How we should be focused, prioritized, and intentional. On purpose, we might even say. But that’s not what he learned, and in many ways, we would all do well to learn a lesson from the lesson Wright himself discovered on that snowy day.
Sometimes in your pursuit of a goal–or even “God’s will”–you miss what He is doing in you life along the way. In fact, we often get frustrated by the “detours” we are forced to take because they are keeping us from going where we think we are headed, instead of experiencing God and His blessings in the midst of our “wandering.” In other words, sometimes as we try to live “on purpose,” God has another purpose. This week’s paralyzing winter weather reminded us of that.
Be assured: He is at work in your life, and He has been all week, even in the interruptions and frustrations. I’m praying that you do see His hand at work in your life this week, wherever you wander, and that you see His fingerprints (if not footprints) all over your situation.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
–Pastor Ken