Several years ago my wife and I traveled on I-285 in Atlanta going to a shopping center. I-285 is the by-pass loop that goes around the perimeter of Atlanta. What should have been a forty-five minute trip took us an hour and a half.
My I-285 experience
I will never forget riding around I-285, I said to my wife, “I believe we have passed the airport twice.” She looked at me with frustration in her eyes and anger in her voice and said, “No, this is our third time.” I knew then it was time to let go of my, I-know-where–I-am-going ego and ask for directions. It didn’t make sense to continue to ride around and around in circles when help was a phone call away.
I believe to this day one of two things occurred; I received bad directions or I didn’t write the directions down correctly. My wife says different, she says that I did not listen. In any case, we wasted valuable time and gas riding around the perimeter of Atlanta.
The first I-285 experience
The Children of Israel experienced the first I-285 experience. It took forty years for them to complete a less than two week journey. They spent forty years wandering in circles instead of enjoying the prosperous land God promised them. They exhausted valuable time and energy going around and around the same mountain, passing through the same desert land because they refused to obey God’s directions.
The Children of Israel forfeited forty years of abundant living in the land flowing with milk and honey because they allowed fear, rebellion and disobedience to block their promise. It wasn’t the distance to the land that stood in their way of receiving the promise; it was the attitude of their heart.
A valuable learning experience
I learned from my I-285 experiences that time waits for no one. You can choose to keep going around in circles because you fear change, you are intimidated about what someone might do or say, or you are scared of losing some material things or relationships. I discovered that you can lose a lot more if you continue going around the perimeter of your life.
If you lose some material things, you can work to get them back. If you lose a job, you can eventually get another job. If you lose your house, you can find another place to live. If your good credit is lost, over time you can build your credit back. The major thing I learned from my I-285 experiences is that you cannot get the time back you lose going in circles. Once the time is gone, it is gone. No matter how much you want to turn back the hands of time, you cannot.
If you continue to travel on your I-285, you will live your life in insanity. And one definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.
It is time
It is time to end the insanity and get off your I-285. It is time to change directions and get new results. It is time to stop wishing and dreaming and start enjoying all that life has to offer.
Change will not be easy, but you can do it. Frustration will try your patience. Discouragement will distract your pursuit. You will want to throw in the towel when it looks as if you can’t find the correct exit ramp to get off your I-285.
Don’t give up hope, you can make it, but you must;
- Stop trying to find your own way.
- Stop following your wrong directions.
- Stop listening to others’ opinions on where you need to go.
- Stop conforming to the status quo.
Just as I made a phone call to get the right directions to get off I-285 and head towards my ultimate destination, you must make the decision to get off your I-285. When you do, you will arrive at your designed destination in excellent time.
“The Lord our God spoke to us at Horeb saying, you have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey…” Deuteronomy 1:6-7
Question: What do you need to do differently in an area of life to get off your I-285? Leave a comment below.