Short Cuts Can Short-Change Us
I like to take shortcuts. If there’s a shorter path, an easier road, a quicker route—I want to be on it. Only recently have I begun to realize that I may be short-changing myself in the process. The other day, I was nearing the end of a power walk, and I was anxious to get back to my car a few blocks away. At the far end of our main street where I was walking, there are no crossroads for the length of several blocks. I saw the pedestrian crossing far up the road, and then I saw the diagonal short-cut (otherwise known as jaywalking) that would get me to my car so much faster. It’s a small town, and I’ve jaywalked more than I’ve followed the rules here, but something that day made me decide to do it the right way and not take the shortcut this time. I no sooner had made that decision when a car came spinning out of a gas station parking lot—the driver not even pausing to look and instead looking down at a cell phone—and flew at breakneck speed through the exact spot where I would have been “jaywalking.” As I continued to walk toward the pedestrian crossing, my heart was still pounding a bit as I considered the “what ifs.” But I was also blessed along the way by the sweet fragrance of lilacs along my path and the sight of two sweet little chipmunks playfully chasing each other through the grass next to me. As I walked, I was humbled by a sense of God’s wisdom. I thought about how many times my impatient need to take the “short cut”—instead of following God’s wise, but longer journey—has led me right into the path of danger. Maybe not physical danger—but spiritual, emotional, or financial danger. How many times have I gotten myself into a mess that could have been avoided? How often have I missed out on joy and beauty and personal growth because I cut corners and rushed into something instead of savoring the blessings and lessons God had for me along the path HE had picked for me? When will I learn to FOLLOW instead of foolishly running ahead?