“Ye have compassed this mountain long enough, turn you northward.” Deuteronomy 2:3
Have you ever been involved in a project that seemed to go nowhere? No matter how much time you take and how much you try, still no results! Then you reach a point when you tell yourself (or somebody else tells you), “It’s time to move on.”
A few years ago, I traveled to Portland, Oregon to give a day-long seminar at George Fox University. It was late in the afternoon and raining heavily when I arrived to pick up a rental car at Portland International Airport. After I signed the required documents and got into the car, my goal was to maneuver out of the airport as soon as possible and avoid the traffic.
I took an exit and noticed that the cars in front of me were not moving. I could see the light and some people clustered around what seemed to be the airport pay booths, but the only insignificant movement in the traffic was occurring at the front of the lines. After almost 15 minutes, I decided to get out of the car and find out what was happening. That was when I realized the cars in those lines had no drivers… and I had joined a line of rental cars at a car wash.
There are times in life when we find ourselves making no progress in our professional or personal endeavors. We knew what the goal was when we started. We had a plan and maybe the resources to achieve it. But still at some point, things stopped evolving, regardless of our efforts.
Remember my story? I would have been in that car wash for hours had I not decided it was time to re-evaluate what was happening… and move on.
The story presented in Deuteronomy gives us a great picture of what stops us from moving forward and how to overcome it. The Israelites had started their journey with a great vision—to go to the land of promise and leave the land of bondage behind. Because of their attitude, disbelief, and complaining spirit, they ended up spending many years without making any progress in their journey.
Then we read powerful words—”turn northward.” God instructed them to turn and go in a different direction. When we’re not making any progress, the situation can only change if we are willing to change–re-evaluate our spiritual goals… and turn heavenward.
The honest question one has to ask is, “Am I in a better professional, personal, or spiritual situation than last year?”