Turn left in 500 feet.” My GPS chimed, abruptly breaking my thoughts that had wandered away. It was early on a Friday morning. My four day work week had felt more like a hectic full week despite taking a vacation day.  Exhausted, I threw a bunch of things in my suitcase before I headed off to a much anticipated writer’s conference. I knew I needed this “reset” from my recent pace.

Did I pack my toothbrush? Did I bring my phone charger? I wonder how much father to the conference center.

Turn left in 500 feet.” The automated voice was jarring.

But as quickly as it interrupted my thoughts, I had a sudden realization. In addition to relying on my GPS, typically when I head out on a trip, I look at the route before leaving to avoid any surprises along the way. This trip was different. I knew my destination and set out without ever having looked at my entire route. In that very moment I felt like God said ‘that’s what I want you do as you journey with me – know the direction but trust and anticipate that I will guide you with each next step.’

I didn’t know my entire route. I had no idea where there might be surprises. I simply trusted that I could listen and know when I needed to turn. With that simple GPS instruction came a few valuable reminders:

Listen to your passion.– If you have a burning desire to become a teacher or a nurse, or you long to write a book or go on a mission trip, you have a dream that won’t let go. Don’t let doubt discourage you from pursuing the very passions God has placed in your heart. It’s easy to find all the ways you might fail, but you’d be amazed at what successes await you when you trust Him instead of listening to your own doubt.

Resist the urge to wait for the entire plan. – Don’t wait until you have “it all” figured out. None of us can see a year or several years into the future. If you’re listening to God’s promptings, you only need to look for the next step, not the entire journey. How useful would it be if a GPS read all of the instructions as soon as you plugged in the address? Not very! You need it to guide each step of the way instead.

Take the next step. – Don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Take the one next step. In the writing community I’ve heard it said that “the worst thing you write is better than the best thing you don’t write.” If you’re a writer, you need to write. What action do people who do what you dream do? You need to do that… but you need to start with the first step. Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t. Soon you’ll find that small steps quickly turn into miles!

Have you ever been stuck looking at life’s journey as daunting? Or, a dream you have seems too big or too impossible? Why not consider trusting God with the next step and get started? Free yourself from planning your entire path and listen for His friendly nudge saying ‘turn left in 500 feet.’

Did you find this post helpful? Do you get stuck trying to plan your whole journey too? I’d love to hear from you. Why not join the conversation.