As we wrap up this series on the Principle of the Path, there is a reality that must be addressed. The principle embodies a fundamental certainty about how life works. The best way to reach your goals and your dreams, and the best way to avoid regret and unwanted outcomes is to live with the principle in mind. It is not however, a magic pill. It is not a guarantee that all your dreams will come true. Sometimes we do run into dead ends.
If you have lived on this earth for more than a day you realize the truth of that last statement. Life does serve up disappointments. There are dreams that will become out of reach. Sometimes this is due to our own poor decisions in the past. Sometimes it is due to circumstances out of our control, and sometimes due to the actions of others. The question is: What do you do when you realize that your goal or dream is no longer achievable?
The Bible is full of stories of men and women who faced setbacks. Some handled them well and others, not so much. Some turned from God, and some held onto Him more tightly than ever. The truth of the scripture remains regardless of the curveballs life throws us. Your goals may be out of reach, but God is never out of reach. For many, the times their faith took the biggest leaps forward were those very times of heart wrenching loss.
We live in an imperfect, fallen world. Even the most ardent follower of Christ may experience defeat and misfortune in their career, relationships, family, health and finances. Yet many of the greatest stories we celebrate and even some of the hymns that we sing were birthed in the middle of those adversities.
God has not forgotten you. He has not gone to sleep, nor is He at a loss as to what to do next. He is still sovereign and you are still a part of His sovereign plan for the world. His plan to use the circumstances of your life – both the victories and defeats – may even be beyond the scope of your own life. He is the only one that can carry you when the burden is too heavy. He is the only one who can see clearly when the fog of life obscures the road ahead. Thousands upon hundreds of thousands of believers have experienced this to be unquestionably true.
The principle of the path is a powerful axiom. It is after all a principle, not just one option for living. Embrace it and you will experience more fullness of life, more desired destinations reached and less wreckage along the way. You will live with far fewer laments and far greater intentionality. Still, there will be highs and there will be lows.
Let me close with this admonition from Andy Stanley:
What do you do when you realize a particular destination is out of reach? That a dream of yours cannot come true? You pray, “Not my will, but yours be done”. And then you rest in the fact that you have done all you can…and all you should.
Live this week on purpose,
(This series is based on the book The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley)