Image from Xurble
When Sarah and I first moved from Maine to Pennsylvania, we drove down in a U-Haul moving truck with our car towed behind. To this day, I’m still surprised we made it here unscathed, especially when you consider that the biggest thing I’d driven before that trip was a fifteen passenger van. If you’ve never traveled in a fully loaded U-Haul towing a car, then you’ve missed out on a unique experience. Picture Sarah and myself in the cab of the truck. Don’t forget to imagine the familiar sound of road noise inherently present in a truck. Multiply that road noise by, say, four times. Now, add the noise of a big engine working overtime to keep the truck up to speed on the highway. What do you get? A lot of noise, and no ease of conversation. Talking to each other required a lot of effort. If we hadn’t been in a moving truck, it would have sounded like we were doing a lot of yell-fighting–it probably looked that way to anyone in the passing lane.
I was focused on keeping the truck in its lane and finding an exit every twelve minutes so we could put gas in the vehicle (why they didn’t give us a diesel-powered truck I’ll never know). So, when it came time to make a decision, I’d trust Sarah to help make some of the decisions. Something you need to know about Sarah: her favorite pastime isn’t spent being ‘the decider’ of anything–she’s much more a ‘go with the flow’ kind of person . That meant our conversations, over the roar/noise/annoyance of the U-Haul experience, would go something like this:
Jeremiah: When would you like to eat?
Sarah: Well, when will we need to get gas?
Jeremiah: What kind of food do you want?
Sarah: Well, what do you think will be at the next travel center?
Jeremiah: What are you thinking for supper?
Sarah: Do you think they’ll have something at the hotel?
Most of the time, for whatever reason, our discussions ended up being questions answered with questions. And I learned something important that day: I really don’t like it when people answer a question with another question whether it’s a major decision or a small issue like what the next food-stop will be like. There are times, though, that answering a question with a question can help us think through some of those bigger things with a new perspective in hand… and make a better decision as a result.
As we’ve been walking through the book of Joshua here, a lot of our discussion has been focused on ‘faith’—in the form of being reminded of how to have strength and courage when facing the impossible, and also in our brief case study of some of Rahab’s story. But just how can we tell when it’s the right time to move—to actually take that step of faith? How do we know when to take a risk? When it comes down to executing that risky step of faith, how do we know if it’s God who is leading us or some kind of internal desire or other voice driving our next step?
As the story in the book of Joshua continues, the main character will be leading the Israelites across the Jordan River at flood stage—and ‘dangerous’ doesn’t begin to describe the situation there. In the lead-up to crossing the river, we discover some important questions that help us to answer the bigger question of when to take those risks. Over the next few days, we’ll be looking at those questions and unpacking them a bit–I hope they help you a bit when it comes to your own faith journey.
- Have I put ‘first things’ first?
- Have I waited?
- Have I counted the cost?