Following Directions

stoplightDoing what we are told to do or going where we are expected to go; following the crowd; doing what is expected of us

Don’t think you’re on the right road just because it’s a well-beaten path. Author Unknown

Discoveries are often made by not following instructions, by going off the main road, by trying the untried. Frank Tyler

The difference between can and cannot are only three letters. Three letters that determine your life’s direction. Remez Sasson

   The nature of the society in which we live is that we are expected to follow directions. This is something we are taught from early childhood. Those who do well at following directions tend to fit in; do not get ostracized; and in many ways are able to minimize the hassles and frustrations of daily life.

    There are consequences, trade-offs, and pros and cons to decisions we make and the directions we follow. It is good to fit in in many ways. It can also be good to not fit in. As children we were told just because someone else does something wrong does not make it okay for us. If someone jumps off a bridge, it is not a good idea for us to go and follow them. There are many who march together, follow the Pied Piper, conform and do what is popular and “in”. They avoid things that may make them stand out. They follow directions and follow the crowd. A common concept of derogatory nature is to drink the Kool Aid of pop culture, doing what is popular and vogue.

    Some choose to march to the beat of a different drummer, non-conform, stand out, and do their own thing. Some non-conformists have serious sociological or even psychological issues. They do not follow directions.

     Following directions is good when it leads us to do things that are good, proper, and in the best interests of society and ourselves. Following directions is not good when it is wrong, immoral, unethical or illegal. Society’s list of directions, rules and laws should be for the common good of us all. This is generally the case, but may not always be so. Sometimes society’s mores, taboos, prejudices, and expectations are not always for the best.

      Those achieving and accomplishing the most do not necessarily follow directions. Following directions implies normalcy, complacency, status quo, and conformity. Going the extra mile, giving more than expected, giving 110 %, and autographing your work with excellence; all imply standing out from the crowd. We should want to do our absolute best in everything that matters. This sometimes conflicts with following directions.

      It matters where our directions come from and what they tell us to do. If directions come from dubious sources and tell us to do things against our conscience, we should be very careful as to how we respond to them.

Challenge: Are you one who follows directions and does as you are told? Do not be a robot and automatically respond to others expectations or directions. Use your powers of reason and your conscience to determine what is best and is right and then do those things. Do not assume that others know best or that society always does the right thing. Seek to have higher standards and more meaningful purpose than what many others may have.

Wisdom: Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile. Gary Ryan Blair

Spiritual: (NIV)

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt 6:33

The ways of the world are often not the right ways. The ways of God are always the righteous way. If we want assurance we are going in the right direction and doing the right things in life, we need God’s guidance and direction in our life. He will enable and empower us to make better decisions as we go forward. If we choose to follow God’s directions, we will not go wrong. He is our Heavenly Father. He only wants the best for us.

Prayer: Help me to listen to you and follow your advice and directions as I go forward in my life.

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