I am a fan of the Waze app. It’s a GPS app that incorporates live traffic data in order to guide you along the quickest route to your destination. Most of the time, Waze is very helpful and the estimated driving time is impressively precise. Difficulties do arise, however, when the route includes shortcuts through neighborhoods I don’t know well: I have to follow the directions because I don’t have any better information, and then I am suddenly faced with having to turn left. On Olympic. At rush hour. Without a light. No short cut is worth attempting that maneuver.

As we work to seek out the best routes through life, we can choose from a wide array of self-proclaimed experts – media personalities, authors, friends – who insist that they know short cuts and secrets to achieving success and happiness. But when we follow them, especially without understanding their full agenda, we run the risk of getting stuck at an emotional intersection, confronted with advice that we finally reject. At that point, we may be so off-track that we’re actually lost.

Life is a journey filled with intersections, traffic jams, and plenty of opportunities to make wrong turns: It’s crucial to stay on course. There are no short cuts: Success and happiness come from hard work, time well-invested, and the companionship of loving people. There is only one true navigator: Our Lord Jesus Christ is committed to being with us every step of the way, even in unfamiliar territory. And He will never ask us to do something that puts us in danger: His desire is for us to be safe, to be saved, to know that we are loved.

Let us travel with the Lord as our companion and allow Him to lead us, rather than mistaking our own will for His. Yes, there will still be pot holes, slowdowns, and lots and lots of construction, but there will also be grace, mercy, and a joyous arrival at our final destination.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6