Three years ago, for the first time, I drove for about 500 kilometres at night. It was an existential nightmare as it is not in my manner to travel at night. Nonetheless, I got comfort in the fact that it was a well-known road. It does not mean that the heebie-jeebies faded out of the blue: driving at night is still a bad idea for me, whether on a familiar or unfamiliar road. It gets perilous when guesswork becomes the game. You notice something like a speed bump and slow down only to realise it wasn’t. It gets worse when you slam the brakes on a speed bump you did not see in time. It gets murkier when overtaking. Seeing an oncoming vehicle is as hard as spotting Mount Kenya’s Batian peak. It is also hard to tell the speed of the approaching car. As this is not enough, you are likely to run into criminals who run their trades in darkness. These are some of the reasons I loathe driving at night.
Life is like a journey, and we are sojourners. We are travelling on the road we have never used before. You have never been a teenager, 25 or 30 years old. You have never been 50 or 60 years old. You have never been married. You have never been a father. You have never been a mother. You have never been a manager. You have never been a pastor. It is happening for the first time in your life. There is always a first time in life. As an individual, you get to a place where you have never been to. Everything is the first experience. No one can experience life for you.
That is why we should not judge ourselves harshly whenever we fire blanks. This does not mean we calculatedly create anarchy in our lives or the lives of others. We should be slow to judge others but quick to forgive them. We are all sailing in uncharted waters. We have never rehearsed for this. At no point in time have we ever been at this place.
Times and seasons change. A daytime will come and nighttime too. It is convenient to travel during daytime for we can observe the important road signs and respond in time. Speed bumps and potholes are noticeable. We can stop for a moment and ask for directions.
Nevertheless, the rules of engagement change as the sun sets in. The darkness sneaks in like a pickpocket, and the only sound you can hear is that of the car engine.
In consequence, caution demands that you have a companion – a guide perhaps. God is the best guide. He offers a pillar of cloud and fire during daytime and nighttime respectively, as it was the case with the Israelites in the Old Testament.
We all need God. He is the one who knows the road we are travelling on. He is the only one who can light up our path when the darkness sets in. He is the only one who can offer guiding signposts on the way. He can assist us in interpreting the traffic lights accurately. He is the only one who can lead us to the right destination in one piece.
Scores of people start their journey fighting fit but never finish. Others finish albeit tragically. We can avoid this by ensuring He is on board. Pray without ceasing, study His word daily, have fellowship with Him regularly. It is true you have never been 70 years old, never served in that position and never been a superintendent. It is also true that you have never been a husband or a wife, a father or a mother. We can excel in all these things if we invite Him in our lives and our affairs. That is why Moses pleaded with Him, that He should accompany them. Moses knew that is it hard to make it in this life without God. Yeah, Moses had been a shepherd but never been a leader of multitudes. He had been 40 but never 80 years old. He had fought and defeated one Egyptian but never had he faced a host of armies. He had been a leader of a people on transit but not the leader of a settled people.
Stretching a little father, Joshua had been an excellent assistant to Moses, but he had never led the Israelites. That is why God would persist on him to observe His statutes and meditate on them day and night. It is like God was telling him to memorise road directions. Whatever God was asking Joshua to do was for his benefit and not God’s.
That is the way to go. It is all about requesting the Captain to accompany you. It is hanging on the Cross diligently. You will never go wrong in your long journey when you make Him your Light to beam the right path.