Do you remember shopping for your first car? I was a new college graduate looking around at all the possibilities when I approached my dad, “Will you help me shop for a car? I’ve seen one I really like.” We went to the lot where we test drove the blue 1991 Toyota Tercel with a manual transmission that I had spotted. Afterwards, Dad and I sat in the car discussing the pros and cons of that particular model; the conversation included a lot of my expressing why I thought this car would be a good choice. Then I asked Dad if we could go to several more dealerships and test drive other options. With a smile, he replied, “Sure. I’ll take you to as many places as you want to go. Then we’ll come back here and buy this one.” And that’s exactly what we did! Dad knew I had already made up my mind, but was patient as I explored other choices. The purchase wound up being a wise decision and that car lasted through my first job, the newlywed years, and beyond.
Isn’t that just like our heavenly Father? I can imagine him patiently smiling while I mull over decisions, explore options, read endless articles, consult friends and family. Somehow he uses that to patiently guide me to the right choice. Sometimes, I wish I would have asked for his guidance sooner and avoided the stress caused when I feel I need to wrangle every bit of information about a topic (internet searches should have a time limit). Always, though, he uses the process to build my relationship with him.
During our lifetimes, we make a lot of important decisions: Where should I live? Which job offer should I accept? Is he “the one”? Which school should we choose for our child? What is the best way to help my aging parents? I’m so thankful God is patient with me as I process and ponder. I just need to make sure I’m allowing him to guide my exploration, so he can lead me to the choice he has in mind…it may be something I haven’t even considered. In fact, the Bible calls the Lord “him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
So I encourage you to invite God into whatever is dominating your thoughts today. I don’t know where he will lead you, but I do know that he loves father-daughter moments.