Anyone who has used GPS maps to find a route has heard this common saying from the friendly voice of our phones: “you are still on the fastest route.” The GPS usually checks all available routes, and is aware of any traffic jams or accidents on the routes and keeps you going on the fastest route available to your destination. Even when traffic slows down and you are stuck, taking a different route might not be the best option. Therefore the friendly voice will continue to remind you, “you are still on the fastest route.”
Spiritually, we may at times feel that life is on hold, or in a jam. We find ourselves stuck in a routine, unable to move forward with our dreams and goals. We might have ambitions that seem so far and impossible. That degree might seem so far away, finding a soulmate might appear impossible, or success seems to avoid you. Most of us live with a sense of urgency, trying to force certain circumstances to happen faster. However, there is a spiritual voice telling us “you are still on the fastest route.” The question is do we listen to this spiritual voice? God’s voice is patient, and even when we take shortcuts in our life, His voice will continue to guide us on to the best route available for our lives.
We sometimes imagine that there are shortcuts in life; faster routes that can be taken so that we may achieve our goals quicker. We have to be careful of these urges to find shortcuts in life as they are most likely lies from the evil one trying to derail us from the track that God has set before us. We especially have these thoughts when our current life seems to be on hold and things are not moving in the direction we would like them to move. Before trying to change directions when life is on hold, wait and see what God has in store for you. Perhaps the holdup in your life is still the fastest route for you to reach your potential. The delay might be the best thing for you and for your own benefit. Just like when there is an accident on the road, and the GPS tells us to remain on the same route as the delay the accident caused is still better than veering off track.
Many of us might remember times in our past when we thought life was rough, and on hold, just to realize years later that the period in question was essential for your growth, and for our lives. Moses was 80 years old when he started his ministry and confronted Pharaoh. One might assume that up until his 80th his life was a delay, however that period in his life was essential for him to become the powerful prophet that lead his people into freedom and through the wilderness for another 40 years after his 80th. He was on the fastest route as God had set out for him.
Do not believe the thoughts and feelings that tell you that you are lost and that you do not know how to proceed in your life. As long as you pray to God, and you ask for His guidance, you will always be on the fastest route, regardless of how you feel at the moment.
Joseph, who was thrown in the pit by his brothers and sold as a slave, was also on the fastest route. Joseph grew up as a slave far away from his family and father, he was then falsely accused and went to prison, only to eventually become one of the most powerful men in Egypt. It is hard to imagine that while he was a slave or a prisoner he was on the “fastest route,” but God had a plan for him. Joseph had to experience all these negatives in his life, so that he could eventually become the ruler who knows how to lead his people. He was on the fastest route.
Whatever route we have calculated for ourselves, might not be the same route as God has calculated for us. He is the loving father who has better plans for us. Saint Paul is another great example. Saint Paul was an extremely active preacher and traveled many countries spreading the word of God, yet he still spent many years in prison. One might wonder why God would allow that to happen to His most active preacher. Yet whatever time Saint Paul spent in prison, was a necessary part of his “fastest route.” As we know, Saint Paul wrote a large portion of the New Testament while in prison. It can hardly be said then that those years in prison were a “delay” in his life. He was on the fastest route.
This of course does not mean we have to be idle, and not do our part. It is important for us to work hard towards our goal, but be fully aware that ultimately God is in control. If we are doing our part, and believe that God will do His, then we must accept delays that happen on our route.
Even holiness does not come “fast.” God loves us and takes care of us regardless, but achieving holiness or righteousness takes hard work, tribulations and trials. Happiness does not come easy either but requires hard work. Truly get closer to God and pray from all your heart so that you may feel closer to God and feel His peace within you. Happiness and peace do not come overnight. There is no rest without hard work. Only when you work hard you will taste true rest.
First and foremost we must believe that God does not make any mistakes, and that any delay in our life is for our own good. Keep your peace, stay smiling and thank God for any delay in your life. Enjoy every moment in your life, even if you might think it’s a delay. Joy in life does not come from going full speed ahead, but it comes from enjoying every moment along the route. Be careful and watchful of the shortcuts that might lead you onto the wrong path. The prophet Jonah thought he knew his route better than God and fled to Tarshish instead of listening to God and going to Nineveh. As a result, a whale swallowed him while he was on his “shortcut route.”
Learn from your life experiences and the delays in your life. Some of the greatest life lessons might be learned during times of delay. Do not think that any days of your life are wasted because every day while relying on God, has a benefit for you. As long as you pray to God, you are still on the fastest route.
– From a Sermon of Father Daoud Lamei