I had to go to the St. Louis airport early this morning. Since I had never been there before, I carefully followed the signs to the parking ramp. When I arrived at the entrance however, there was a road block and a sign which said the ramp was full. Hmm...
Several ramp employees were standing next to the sign so I pulled up and asked them where I could park. One of the men told me I could park in the other ramp. Other ramp? I told him I was from out-of-state and had no idea where this "other ramp" was located. Could he please direct me to it? Sure! He then proceeded to tell me to go down this road, curve around and then go over here but when I did, I needed to get in that lane over there, not the one I had been on before and then go up and over, stand on my head, turn around, sit down.. and take the shuttle back to the terminal.
I thanked him and drove off, trying to sort through the mixed up muddle in my brain. After circling around several times, trying in vain to recall all of the directions, I spotted a lot behind and off to the side of the terminal. My hopes that I had reached my destination were dashed when I saw a large sign that simply said $20 All Day Parking but mentioned nothing about short-term parking. I looked to see if there were any employees about who could perhaps direct me to short-term parking but in this age of automation (and eliminating jobs to save money) there was no one in sight.
I decided to go back to the beginning and start over again. I prayed (I really did) that a car would be exiting just as I drove up. God said, "No" so it was back to the drawingboard for me. I headed back to the original parking ramp and asked for directions once again.
This time though, I was a bit smarter. I knew what questions to ask. Just as the man was warming up to the task once again, I interrupted him. "Am I looking "E"?"
"Yes, just follow the signs for "E" and it will take you to where you can park."
I had another question. "Isn't that for long-term parking only?"
"No. It is for short-term parking as well. The sign says $20.00 but you can park there for up to two hours for $5.00."
"Even though the sign says nothing about that?"
"Yes. The sign is just there to let people know they can park there long-term as well."
I opened my mouth to say something, thought the better of it and switched to "Thank you" mode instead.
This time, instead of listening to his directions, I followed the signs marked "E" with a circle around it. Instead of having to drive around around the ramp across the street looking for a place to park and then trudge back to the terminal, I easily found a spot, boarded a waiting shuttle and within two minutes I was walking through the door to the terminal. It was quick and easy, when I followed the posted signsinstead of someone's directions.
I took away two things from my adventure this morning. First of all, the way that seems good to me is not always what is best. I thought the best place for me to be was in the ramp across the street from the terminal. It looked right and seemed reasonable but there was a better place, that though unseen from where I was, that was actually better in regards to both parking and convenience. We tend to view God's roadblocks as a hinderance when perhaps they are actually a means to direct us to a place that is better, the place we truly need to be.
Secondly, far too often we seek the wisdom of man rather than turning to the wisdom of God which can be found in His written Word. This is not to say that we should not disregard what others have gleaned from the Word of God. I am very thankful for the annointed preachers and teachers I have encountered over the years. However, we must read and study God's "signposts" (the Word of God) for ourselves so that we may learn to follow them, even if someone says we should be going in the opposite "direction".
Are you following God's signposts or are you following someone's directions?