Some mornings my time with the Lord starts with listening to the www.encounteringpeace.org meditation on scripture (which I highly recommend), and recently the meditation took me back to Exodus (which is chock full of insights for God-centered entrepreneurs), and the story of Israel facing a fork in the road. I hadn’t paid much attention to this part of their escape from Egypt, but I was captivated by it, and how it mirrored what we often face as God-centered entrepreneurs. Come with me on the adventure!
In Exodus 14, the Israelites are fleeing Egypt and they’re headed to the Red Sea, they’re crying out to Moses, “Why do you have to take us this way? Why can’t we take a shortcut? There’s a shorter way to go and it’s easier, it’s an easier path” Doesn’t that sort of sound like us on our journey pursuing success God’s way? I mean literally, we have a choice…a fork in the road. Our way or God’s way. And we want to take His divine path, but then…it starts to look scary and hard, it doesn’t look like we’re getting to our destination as quickly as we want, and suddenly the GPS seems to be adding miles instead of taking them away! We want to take a shortcut of our desire, one that looks easier and simpler.
But if we take that shortcut, then we will be on our own means. Which we think we want, but we know anything we create outside of God’s will, we have to maintain outside of His will. So back to the Israelites. In Exodus 14:14, Moses tells the people, “Just be still. Do not be afraid. God will fight for you. You will see His glory. But you have to be still. You have to be calm. You have to be quiet.” Can you imagine how tough that was for that crowd? Maybe even tougher than we think it is to stand still, be quiet and let God have His way. It’s hard, friends. But living outside His will is so much harder.
It’s when we don’t get still that anxiety and chaos creep in. When we don’t consistently, quietly, daily spend time in the Word that doubt, discouragement and discontent start pointing us to a different path. To allow the Lord to fight for us, to guide us and to be our GPS is tough when we want the control and we just know we can do this on our own. If we don’t take the time to be still, how can we truly fully appreciate or understand or even see how He wants to move in our life? Without allowing the stillness, we become like the Israelites: “Ugh, Lord this road is so long, and why did you take me this way and wahhh” right?
As God-centered entrepreneurs, it is easy to look left and right and look around at the world and see what appears to be shortcuts. But friends, what we see on social media that looks like a shortcut, that looks like someone was an overnight success, that looks like someone started their business yesterday and today they’re at the top of the company, is just not the whole story. We have no idea what’s behind the scenes, and we have no idea what filters they’ve used. My daughter is a whiz at editing pictures, and she is a whiz at adding color and changing the saturation and just beautiful artistic editing. But it made me think about how many times we’re looking at stuff on social media and it’s not truly the real picture or the real situation we’re seeing is photoshopped. We’re seeing the editing. And that “other” path may look all sparkly and beautiful but the question is, did God make it that way, or did someone else?
So let’s learn from the Israelites when we come the fork in the road. Instead of crying out, “Lord edit it this for me and filter this for me and make this journey shorter,” let’s embrace the lessons and the tests that God has given us because those tests will become our testimony. Because there are miracles in the mess, if we can just stand still and just listen for Him. If we are steadfast in spending daily time with Him, getting to know His character, and asking for His divine help, He will show us the path! He will give us the names of who he wants us to talk to. He will cross our paths with people that we could never have imagined for our business. He will bring people back into our business that we didn’t even think about, and I promise you that movement is your journey. I’m not supposed to move as fast as other people, and other people aren’t supposed to move as fast as me. It’s what He has especially for each of us – if we would just buckle down and listen, and not let the world’s noise get in the way. So when you come to that fork in the road, which way are you going to go?
Open up Exodus, read about the Israelites and then pray over it, “Lord, show me your path. Let me be still long enough to enjoy your path.”