Chapel Service

Iowa Speedway

August 3, 2012

“Avoiding Detours”

(From Bob’s Series “Life 4 U”)

Bob Butcher



Avoiding Detours with the lost art of Thinking

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

I turned off the interstate to get gas for my car. I was returning from a race and it was very late. Kathy was sleeping.  As I turned onto the road, I looked for the entrance ramp to get back on the interstate. It was dark and I could not see any signs. I made a turn to the right that appeared to be the turn I needed to make. I could see the interstate was next to the road. As I continued down this road, the interstate was on my left. It soon became obvious it was not the entrance road but rather a frontage road. I assumed it would take me to the next interchange. However, the road soon turned away from the interstate and became a dirt road. I realized I was not going to get to the interstate on this road. Being a bit frustrated that I had made the wrong turn, I turned around and went back, losing valuable time.

This isn’t any deep thinking here …but it sure illustrates the “not leaning upon ones own understanding!”  I have often found a little prayer and thereby acknowledging His ability to lead & guide me to be less stressful, a whole lot less time consuming, and always filled with wisdom in a situation I had no idea was coming ahead.

Wisdom is an interesting thing. 

Consider Ecclesiastes 7:12:

“For wisdom is protection just like money can be protection. But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors.”

Since wisdom requires thinking, it’s an endangered species in this culture. It’s too hard. It’s much easier to just go along with the herd. Even King Solomon sought happiness in mere knowledge, hobbies, possessions and status before concluding that wisdom is of greater value than them all.

In a word, Solomon stopped pursuing and started thinking. Eventually he saw the value of thinking seriously about life, and viewing it through God’s eyes.

When we become too fuzzy in our thinking to ask any profound questions, we search for happiness and significance in all the wrong places. But, as someone has said, we can live for a few minutes without air, for a few days without water, for a couple of months without food-but for a lifetime without an original thought.

I’m starting to relearn the lost art of thinking right about life. I’ve decided to deliberately reflect on questions like these:

  What do I really believe?

  Why am I doing what I’m doing?

  What really has brought satisfaction to my life?

  What creates pressure for me? And what does God want me to do about it?

  How does my schedule reflect my ultimate values?

  How will my present lifestyle affect my family in 20 years?

  What does God want me to do with my life, my family and my possessions?

I’m learning that thinking can be gritty, lonesome work. God is still in the business of creating new original thoughts…life-changing ideas…innovations that will redirect our families and shape the destiny of our homes. I’m learning that real thinking is a pioneering work.

I’d like to encourage you to become an original thinker. Turn off the TV, the car radio, put down this book or your newspaper, and ponder your life. If you’re like me, you’ll find it’s hard work. But like a lot of hard work, thinking and seeking wisdom has its rewards.

It is easy to make assumptions about the path we are on. If God’s Spirit has not enlightened our reasoning, we are inclined to make the wrong choices. Our choices seem right at the time, but later we discover these choices have led us away from God because they were based on our own reasoning.

Acknowledge God in all your ways today. Lean completely on Him to reveal His direction for your life. If you do so, He will direct you to the desired destination He has for you.


 Father, I ask that You will inspire each of us to think Your thoughts and reflect on Your  ways, daring to approach life with creativity and original thinking beginning today.

 Discuss: How does the pace of your life allow time for reflection and thinking? What answers would you give to some of the questions above?


Have a safe and prosperous race today!