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  • Baptist Beacon

Are you headed in the right direction?

by David Thompson

NASHVILLE, TN – Where are you going to be when you get where you’re going?

That question was often posed to me by a great mentor and friend, David Jones. I dare say that most of us think we are headed in the right direction.

I heard about a man who had moved from the country to the big city of Atlanta, and did not know the roads very well at all. He was talking to his wife on the phone as he drove home from the inner city after his first day at work. She was at home watching the news live feed from a helicopter which was reporting that someone was going the opposite direction of traffic on the interstate. She told her husband, “Be careful honey—someone not far from you is driving the wrong way on the interstate!”

He replied, “Oh, it’s not one! It’s thousands!”

Maybe you have felt like that man before. You’re going in the wrong direction.

Ancient and wise king Solomon was right when he said in Proverbs, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death?”

Motown favorite, Diana Ross, proposed the same question in a song over 40 years ago—

“Do you know where you’re going to?

Do you like the things that life is showing you?

Where are you going to?

Do you know?”

Here are a few perspectives on how to finish well:

1. Always aim high

One of our greatest American military snipers hit his target at 2.2 miles. In trying to determine the exact settings on his scope, his partner said you must go at least 80 yards above for distance, the shooter then estimated another 70 yards for a total of 150 yards above the target when considering the wind and humidity. The point is it is not enough just to have a goal out there in the far distance. Your goal should have a higher purpose.

The apostle Paul told the believers at Colossae, “If you are then risen with Christ, seek the things that are above… And set your affection on things that are above.” In other words, if Christ is in you, He should be your aim. So, AIM HIGH!

Yet we have all lost our way from time to time. Will Rogers said, “Men show their ignorance not by what they don’t know, they show their ignorance by what they know that just ain’t so.” So where will you be when you get where you’re going? Are you following the way that seems right to the crowd, to the average person, or to the general public?

2. Know that if your goal or direction causes you to stand alone—you are never really alone.

A rite of passage for one Native American tribe here in the south was for a young man at age 12 to go spend his first night completely alone in the middle of the wilderness far from anyone. He was challenged to stand in a small 3-foot circle all night long, and not leave in order to pass the test. The young boy was terrified listening to the howls of wild animals all around him. At first light, while trembling and scared and nearly frozen, what would he see… but his own father—standing not 50 feet away behind a large tree with his bow drawn ready to kill anything that would attack his son.

Listen child of God, do you think God loves you any less? The very last words of Jesus to his disciples were, “I will never, ever, ever, leave you!”

3. To know where you will be when you get where you’re going requires faith.

President Kennedy said, “We need men who can dream of things that never were.” I hope your dream is impossible as far as man is concerned.

When called of God, Abraham set out on a journey having absolutely no idea where he was going. The Hebrew writer puts it like this,” By faith, Abraham, when he was called to go to a place he should receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out not knowing where he was going. By FAITH, he sojourned in the land of promise… he looked for a city that has foundations whose builder and maker is God.”

Like Abraham, you will get what you are “looking” for. Simply stated, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith!” That, my friend, is how you finish well.



Dr. David L. Thompson holds an undergraduate degree from Belmont University in Psychology and Religion, a graduate degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Education, and a doctorate in Counseling and Pastoral Psychology. He has served as a chairman of the Church Planting Group and Executive Committee Chair at the North American Mission Board for 10 years. He has been a Police Chaplain since 1991 and served as a Corporate Chaplain to the Coca Cola Bottling Company in Nashville, Tennessee where he resides with his wife. He has six children and five grandsons.



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