Recently we celebrated the birth of a man who wouldn’t stop and ask for directions.

Yes, Columbus was bent on going west to find the Far East. That makes absolutely no sense. But isn’t that what we do as men? Columbus pushed on believing he was right. He would have done well in the days before GPS. Back then, we wrote down directions and attempted to read them while we were driving. We’d miss a turn and keep going believing that if we just kept going, we would eventually arrive at our destination. We only stopped when the light on the gas gauge started flashing. This forces us to do the unforgivable man thing; we pull over and ask for directions. Lucky for Columbus, he discovered the New World. Had he been wrong, he may have fallen off the face of the Earth. He didn’t get lost. He just didn’t stop at the local convenience store and ask for help.

Sometimes (all right – more than sometimes) I think I have all the answers. My mother often said I was one of the most stubborn human beings she had ever met. When I think I have the right answer, I can dig in my heels. I think I’m right and won’t ask for help. Let me tell you a story.

I enjoy working out at the Dowd Y before work. I have a routine I do on the machines. It was working well, and I was improving. When the new construction started, staff relocated the equipment. I didn’t know where they moved it to, and being the independent person, I am, I didn’t ask. Time went on and my routine of working out on the machines went into the history book. 

One day I finished my workout on the elliptical trainer and decided to return to the locker room a different way. Instead of turning left to go down the steps, I made a right and followed the construction down the hall. As I got past the construction area, I felt like Columbus seeing the New World for the first time. There was this blinding light as I discovered the expanded weight room. It was big. It was bright. It was huge. It was the promised land for weight training. 

As I entered the new weight room, I envisioned Columbus anchoring his boats and walking onto the New World. I sat on a machine and began pumping iron. It felt wonderful. My muscles were being used for the first time in a long time.

Since then, I have a routine I do on the machines twice per week. I’m increasing the weight I use. There are machines I didn’t know existed. Several are helping me work on my core. 

Why do I share this? Sometimes the answers are right in front of us. Sometimes the answers we need are just around the corner. Sometimes we don’t see it because our heart is closed, and we aren’t open to receiving the gift of hope.

Do you ever think that perhaps God is moving in front of you? Do you ever consider that we don’t see His hand because our heart is closed? Then we think God doesn’t care or doesn’t answer our prayer. The Y already had the equipment in place, but I didn’t ask for help. I didn’t ask where they relocated it. Had I asked, I would have enjoyed it a lot sooner. If I ask God for His help, I could experience His solutions to the challenges I face to my life.

The Rev. Tony Marciano is the president/CEO of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. He is available to speak to your group. Go to www.charlotterescuemission.org and go to contact us – just ask for Pam. 

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