A man’s heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. – Proverbs 16:9
There are three questions worth asking. Where did you come from, where are you now, and where are you going?
We are not discussing your hometown or the place you previously lived here. When I say where did you come from, by that, I mean your journey in life. What were you doing three years ago? Seven years ago? Twenty years ago? Was your life in turmoil? Were you pursuing hopes and dreams? Maybe you were surrounded by friends or maybe you were all alone. Maybe you felt deep anger toward someone or toward everyone. You might have been an atheist. You might have been a Muslim. You might have come from poverty or from riches.
Where did you come from?
The next question provides a good reason for asking the first. Where are you now? And often, it asked in context with where you came from. Yesterday, I was an atheist, today, I’m a Christian. Yesterday, I had great wealth, today, I’m flat broke. Yesterday, my life was filled with turmoil, today, I’m coming up roses.
But it isn’t always that stark a difference. Maybe you’ve stayed where you’re at. Maybe life was good a few years ago and it’s just as good today. Maybe you were miserable as a twenty-year-old, and you’re just as miserable at thirty.
Now you ask that all-important third question: where are you going? What do you HOPE to be doing ten years from now? What will you LIKELY be doing ten years from now? Will it be better? Will it be worse? Will it be the same?
All of these questions deal with something I call trajectory. And nothing matters quite like trajectory. If you take a static shot of where you’re at only, you may look like a drug addict today. What that static shot won’t reveal is where you’ve come from or where you are going. You might be a drug addict today who is in the process of recovering. Things aren’t perfect right now, but they’re a lot better than they were five years ago. You might be a person who was living by great financial means five years ago, but because you’ve been spending money like a fiend, things might be financially worse today than before.
The point is, trajectory tells your story. Where you are at today isn’t always a clear picture of your life. You need all three vantage points to properly assess your state of affairs.
And I tell you this today to encourage you. There is nothing permanent about your present-day snapshot. Trajectory can always be changed. Going up and going down are just as viable options as staying level. If you want a better life, trajectory is how you adjust your course.
Most importantly, while you are the architect of your course, the Lord God is the One who determines how you get there. If you set your hopes on being a lawyer, God is ultimately the One who determines the details of how you get there. If you are miserable in life right now but want your life to change for the better, the Lord is the One who determines how you get there.
In other words, adjusting your life’s trajectory has EVERYTHING to do with focusing on God, not the destination.
Keep your eyes on Him, pay close attention to His promptings, listen carefully for His voice. One thing is certain, any trajectory determined by God leads to a better future. Ask Him for directions today.