Oh the places I go…

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

Those are the opening lines of Dr. Seuss’ “Oh the Places You’ll Go”. Another great book by a man who has influenced generations of children.

Funny thing about the words quoted above is that they can be both encouraging and convicting. There will be times in life when the places we go are exciting and filled with possibilities, other times we will end up in places that are difficult and even shameful.

Dr. Seuss may have been referring to physical places, but for me, “the places I go” has more to do with my spiritual well-being and my attitude. Sometimes I am filled with joy and a servant’s heart. I find myself giving to others and doing for others in ways that even surprise me. That’s when the places are good. Other times I find myself caught up in my own selfish desires. I find myself in a place where my attitude is more caustic than caring. I find myself in places where I am annoyed by what others want or need me to do. Those places are not so great (and yet I go to those places far too often).

I love the words and encouragement of Dr. Seuss, but there are other words I need to hear even more. Words like these from Psalm 139:

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

Oh the places I go…
I am thankful God is already in every place I go – either to make it all it could be in its joy and celebration, or to rescue me from my tendency to wander off on my own.

What are the places you go?
Did you know that every where you go God is already there?
Did you know that’s a good thing?

holy high-five to you,
Mike

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One response to “Oh the places I go…

  1. I sometimes think God takes me to those places I don’t feel happy or comfortable with so that I will feel the peace that comes from serving and will adapt. I have changed tremendously in the last few years. Things that once bored me are now exciting because of the rewards. I do know that God is everywhere, He is in the very air that surrounds and fills me and it is by His breath of air that I can experience the world around me.

    Thanks for a great blog.

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