Do you trust the Lord has a plan for your life? Do you trust the small, personal things He asks you to do—whether they make sense or not?
I’ve always trusted the Lord had a plan for me and my life. Especially when my life started looking different than my friends’ lives, I turned to the Lord declaring that I trusted Him and His plan for me. That didn’t mean I always liked it, but if the whole purpose of life is to work out our exaltation through the Savior’s atoning grace, then by golly, I had to trust that the bumps and potholes in my road could really be used to bless my mortal experience.
I get the big life path things. I believe in a strait and narrow way. But what about the small awkward and painful things intended to smooth out rough edges? The end result isn’t as clear. I don’t always understand. Sometimes change is really hard.
Trust the Lord
When I leave the temple in the early afternoon, I have two options to get home. They lead in opposite directions around the island. Barring obstacles, they both take about the same amount of time to reach my house. One includes my favorite ocean and mountain views. I typically drive the other route to the temple, so enjoy when I get my own semi-circle island tour.
Doing one temple session plus the driving usually involves 4-5 hours of my day. It’s vital, indispensable time, but I work full-time so want to return home as expeditiously as possible. So I always check navigation to see if there are any obstacles and regardless of the extra scenic route’s enticing beauty, I almost always choose the fastest route.
Thursday as I checked navigation before driving away from the temple, I noticed both routes had similar estimated times of arrival. I had a big job due later that day and needed to get home and back to work.
I felt nudged to go the extra scenic route. I felt surprised that it mattered. “Trust the Lord” was the response. OK. I’ll trust Him and enjoy my drive!
As I turned onto Kamehameha Highway, I didn’t have anyone in front of me! That’s a miracle. “I TRUST YOU, LORD,” I gleefully shouted in my car.
Putting My Trust to the Test
However, right outside of Laie, I caught up to a vehicle and settled into follower mode. It’s really typical to drive in a line of cars around the island. I enjoyed my few minutes of freedom and expected to leisurely watch the views as I drove home.
Not so. The driver of the Dodge in front me was super distracted. I felt like I saw his face more than the back of his head. His speed varied so drastically that I dared not venture a side glance at the sea or mountains. His driving totally frustrated me.
“Trust the Lord, huh?” OK.
At one point, when he’d gone the same speed for nearly half a mile, I decided to ask the Lord why He nudged me this way if it was going to be so psychologically painful.
The driver turned around again as he reached for something on the back seat floor. His speed immediately dropped from 40 down to 25 mph. I geared up for potential passing lane opportunities. Oncoming traffic prohibited the pass.
“He is so distracted! His driving is erratic and he’s an obstacle for all the other drivers. Seriously, please help me learn something from this!” I felt the stress of impending deadlines creeping across my shoulders.
A new thought infiltrated the frustration. “Wouldn’t his driving be more efficient if he concentrated solely on the road?”
“Because he’s distracted, even though he’s on the right path, his journey is haphazard with self-imposed risks, right?”
Where was this series of obvious questions going?
The Frustrating, Erratic Driver Was Me!
Suddenly a personal commandment received from the Lord came to mind. When the Lord commanded it, I recognized it as an instructive assignment from Him. I hadn’t been told I had to adjust immediately and I didn’t really understand the purpose. So while I started implementing the changes necessary to obey the commandment, I proceeded pretty half-heartedly.
In a flash, I was the Dodge driver proceeding with purpose and intention and then suddenly getting distracted and looking over my shoulder at something behind me, something in the past, something that I clung to unnecessarily. My speed slowed. My steering became erratic. Becoming distracted introduced counterproductive risks and obstacles on my way.
My journey became insecure and tenuous as I kept looking back. My journey became intentional and purposeful as I focused on the path ahead.
“I trust you, Lord.” I got it. I saw it. The imagery seriously clarified my internal struggle.
Thank you, stranger, for being at the right place at the right time for me.
At the moment I understood my application, after 12 excruciatingly painful miles, the road ahead opened up and I passed the man, who I felt grateful for, who expedited such a pivotal lesson.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.