Leap of Faith Episode 8: Direction not Intention

Camp MYW

Hello Hello!
It is another fine day and I hope you are ready to dive in on an idea that can dramatically change your day to day life.

Back when I lived in Toronto I did my first driving on the 400 series of highways. Having grown up in North Bay I didn’t really have a lot of experience with navigating the much busier, much more complex highway systems and I would often end up going in the wrong direction. I would see the signs and have a sense of where I wanted to go but because I lacked knowledge on how the system worked (and because it was a time before Google maps) I would get on the highway knowing where I wanted to go but just going in the wrong the direction.

It would sometimes take a little bit to realize and so I would find myself ten or fifteen minutes down the road in the wrong direction and I would have to turn around.

My intention was to go my destination but my direction was sending me the wrong way.

So my question is this:

What would happen if I didn’t pay attention to my direction and just assumed because I was intending to go somewhere I must eventually get there?

On the highway that would mean a long drive in the wrong direction that would inevitably lead me nowhere if not far far far from my intended destination.

Now let’s take the same question and talk about our lives. What would happen if you assumed that because you had the intention of going somewhere, doing something with your life, or living in a certain way that you would eventually get where you wanted to go?

Just like the highway In the most basic terms there are two potential outcomes:
By chance you end up living up to your intentions and happen to get to your destination
By equal chance you end up unintentionally going in the wrong direction which never leads you to your hoped outcome.

And here lies the critical thought for today:

Direction not intention determines destination.
Direction not intention determines destination.

This idea comes from Andy Stanley’s book The Principle of the Path and it is a powerful way of looking at your life and understanding how to live.

Direction not intention determines destination.

So like my highway experiences, it was my direction that lead me down the wrong path not my intention.
And I would argue that it is the same with life: it is the direction of our lives that lead us down paths not our intentions.

So what? What does this actually mean for our lives?

It means that the choices you make every day have an impact on your direction. That is to say, how you choose to live right now has a major impact on what your life will look like tomorrow or the next day.

One of the most powerful ways of understanding this is to think about it in relation to the sin in our lives. Nobody wakes up and decides that they are going to make a mistake let alone fall into a habit of making that mistake. No one really chooses to make lying a regular part of their lives. No one opens their planner and says in a few years I’m hoping to be addicted to pornography. No one wishes that someday they will become a person fueled with anger. It is never someone’s intention to fall into sin but the choices we make put us on a path, send us in a direction, and that direction, those choices, will determine our destination.

Life is very short. You have so many choices ahead of you and you likely have a vision of where you want to be and how you want to live. To live up to them and arrive at your intended destination you must choose wisely today how you will live.

The Bible says it this way in Ephesians 5:15-17

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

So how can we do this: how can we live wisely?

  1. Think about your destination and choose your direction.
    The most important thing you can do is to take the time to think about the direction of your life. If you remain on the path you are presently on where will it take you and is that where you want to go? If you are on the right sort of path consider what kind of choices do you need to make to stay on that path. Do you need to come clean about a few white lies, do you need to make sure your computer is in a public space, do you need to go seek forgiveness for something? Making a wise choice today can save you a world of trouble in the future.
  2. Look for accountability
    Find a friend or a person you trust and share with them the things you are wrestling with. Talk with them about your hoped-for destination and ask them to help you stay on that path.
  3. Choose God first
    It can be difficult but making time for God but it is one of the critical ways to stay focused on the outcomes you want for your life. Are you making time for God in your day to day life? Take a look at your schedule and see if you can fit 5 minutes on the regular for God.

Direction not intention determines destination.

We want to support you on your path. We believe that you have a bright future ahead of you and would love be there for you as you journey through life. Your summer directors are here to make time for you at anytime. You can connect with Michelle at michelle@miniyowe.com or by text/phone at 647-895-1263.

We would love to pray for you, to cheer you on, and to help you grow. We have seen so much good in each and every one of you. Keep being awesome.

This post is part of our Leap of Faith Audio Check-ins. We want to encourage you to leap into your faith and continue to grow at home, at school, and in your church. These audio check-ins are meant to encourage you as live out your faith every day. 

Want to keep growing?

There are more episode of Leap of Faith and other resources for you to grow in your leadership and faith here.