About a month ago, I quit blogging. I’d had it with hearing my own voice. Plus, my career was taking a big new direction with the addition of teaching this fall. But a funny thing happened. As soon as I quit, folks began mentioning how much they enjoyed my column. Plus, I didn’t know what to do with all those words bouncing around in my head. So, here it is. Again. A couple of times a month, I hope. And if you enjoy it, share it. A little encouragement goes a long way…

This summer my husband, Dana, and I ditched the kids to drive to the River Rock Music Festival, a two-day outdoor Christian concert at Maine’s Sunday River Ski Resort. Our main reason for going was to sell books. So we packed the backseat of Dana’s truck. Then off we went, following the directions I had laboriously copied from an online search. For good measure, Dana also brought his GPS.

We’d barely driven fifteen minutes when Dana’s GPS directions differed from mine. The tension in the truck rose with the temperature of the bright July morning as we navigated Maine’s westerly backroads, first following Dana’s directions, then mine. Occasionally they overlapped. But when they didn’t, Dana’s GPS would faithfully try to reroute us to the next best turn.

“This is ridiculous,” I complained. “How are we ever supposed to get there if we are following two separate sets of directions?”

How like life, I thought. Whether trying to reach a destination, work together in marriage or accomplish a life goal, it helps to follow a single set of directions. Exasperated, I finally tossed mine in the backseat, and we made it to our destination – fifteen minutes later than planned. In the end, we had a wonderful time listening to the music, meeting new people and sharing The Lantern Hill Light Parade, the newest book in my Lantern Hill Farm children’s picture book series. But on the drive home, we followed a single set of directions.

“Your directions and mine, weren’t actually that far off,” Dana said as we navigated home in the late-night dark. “It’s just where they were off.”

Again, so like life.

Scripture has a lot to say about God’s directions for life. “The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you,’” Psalm 32:8 (NLT).

Thankfully, when we veer off course or pick the wrong route, God faithfully reroutes us – like a trusty GPS. So if you feel like you’ve been following the wrong directions, ask God which way to go. He’ll help you find the way home.

Meadow Rue Merrill, author of the award-winning memoir, Redeeming Ruth, writes for children and adults from a little house in the big woods of midcoast Maine. The Lantern Hill Light Parade, the fourth book in her Lantern Hill Farm children’s picture-book series, is available now.