Wednesday morning, 7:20 am and I am out the door for my first meeting of the day. The sun was bright and the Sprit that lives within me felt strong. It is a short drive to my first Starbucks meeting. I am there this morning to meet Mike, to listen to, and guide him through his difficulties, misdirection’s, brokenness and pain. Lining up his life with the words of our Lord, Jesus.
The coffee shop seems to be a place of rest and refreshment yet on some days for some people it is a place of refuge, disarmament, de-escalation, de-stressing and relief. Words, laughter, and tears pouring out thoughts, feelings, lies and truth, kept focused by a jolt of caffeine. Gospel coffee at its best.
On this particular morning, before I arrived I received a text from Mike that read, “Took a wrong turn, running about 15 minutes late.” When Mike arrived, I said, “Yep, you took a wrong turn alright. Where was it? Back in 1985?” Laughing, he said, “That sounds about right.”
Mike explained, “When I leave my house I have to tell myself, Corydon or Louisville.” The interstate splits off. Head west to Corydon and work, or head east to Louisville to just about everything else. Mike, goes on, “I guess out of habit I headed to work, instead of heading to our meeting.”
Sometimes, that is the way it is. We head out the door or open our mouth without any intentional thought to where we are going or what we are saying. We find our selves headed down the wrong path and wonder, how did we get here. We do it out of habit, mixed with a lack of focus. It can be hard to break a habit, and it can be hard to focus, but one of the keys is to be intentional with our actions and thoughts. James tells us to, “capture every thought.”
Thursday morning was a little different. I headed out at 6:30 to a different Starbucks for a different kind of meeting. I was headed to meet a friend, get in his car and head to Churchill Downs. I had an opportunity to spend a few minutes with American Pharaoh, America’s Triple Crown Winner. I was very intentional with my actions and thoughts, as I gazed on a world class athlete. I took some pictures and posted them on Facebook. About an hour later, I heard from Mike.
Mike texted, “Good thing American Pharaoh didn’t make a wrong turn.” I answered, Yes. Although, Mike, you need to remember every step he has taken and every breath he takes has been, and is, guided by man. For a man’s profit. Although, I would suggest, the underlying truth is every time a horse runs it always runs for God’s glory.
Mike answers, “One would hope.” I answer, Oh, you can believe it. Men believe that a horse runs for his good pleasure. But the only way a man can withstand and harness the power and passion of a horse is because God says so. We like to think we break a horse, but a horse submits. The arrogance of man comes face to face with the power and beauty of the horse.
How do we get from a wrong turn, to intentionality, to a horse. This is how: God is intentional in his thoughts and actions. We, “are made in his image.” He calls us to resist the wrong turns, “to make the path straight.” We are called to change the bad habits, “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” We are directed to, “run the race marked out for us.” And like a world class horse we have the Holy Spirit within us providing the power and passion of God. We tap into that power by submitting. We submit when we, “Fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”
It is a good morning to visit the backside of Churchill Downs to get a glimpse of what is going on behind the scenes. It is a great morning when we visit the backside of our life to get a glimpse on what is going on behind our scene. It is an awesome morning when we find our gaze finding the face of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It may take a lot of wrong turns to bring us around. But, it is the right turns that keeps us where we need to live.