J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “Not all those who wander are lost.” in The Fellowship of the Ring. We’re all on a journey in our personal lives and that includes our journey to or away from God.
Here are a few with incredible stories of resilience.
- I’ll start with Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom to destroy the “One Ring”. IT seemed like they were wandering, but they maintained sight of their goal and pressed on. But it started much earlier with the fellowship of the ring, setting out from the Shire and then Rivendell to try something that seemed to be doomed from the start.
- Abraham as God called him out of Ur of the Chaldeans to take him to the Promised land where the Jewish people would eventually settle.
- Joseph: his brothers hated him, sold him into slavery, being falsely accused, ending up in prison, forgotten there, before finally becoming second only to Pharaoh. He followed God’s path, not his own.
- Moses lead the Jewish people who wandered for 40 years in the wilderness for not following God. When they did make it to the promised land they were certainly a different people.
- Ruth, as she came back to Israel, a foreign land, with her mother-in-law not knowing what fate was before her. It brought her to a new life with a kinsman redeemer and became part of the
- David, as he fled from Saul to save his own life to soon become the leader and second king of God’s people. He wandered from cave to cave and country to country before God brought him back to be king over Israel.
- The apostles as God dispersed them from Jerusalem to be evangelists across the know world in the first century, spreading the Gospel message as they went.
- The nations of Judah and Israel and they were lead away into captivity in Babylon. Yet even there, God was with them, accomplishing His work in them.
- Jonah certainly wasn’t wandering as he willfully ran away from God’s plan to “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
- Me, as God has lead me from place to place and camp to camp, even a year working for Canadian Pacific. Each job and position building on the last one to accomplish His purposes. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
- And YOU
Who are the people, events, situations, traumas, highs, lows, heartaches, set-backs, inspirational messages, etc. in your life that have helped shape us into the people we are?
I have done two different exercises with the Widji leadership staff looking back on the journey of their life so far to see which people and events in their life have influenced the person and leader they are. Take some time and think back over your life and discover the many ways God has been leading while you thought you were just wandering.
We’re all on a journey. Where is yours leading? How well are you traveling that road?