Roger Von Oech is a top management guru who helps business executives think more creatively. In his wonderful little book A Kick in the Seat of the Pants von Oech wrote,
One thing can lead to something completely different.
Alexander Graham Bell was trying to invent a hearing aid. Columbus was looking for India. Colonel Sanders set out to sell his chicken recipe to restaurants. Physicist Karl Jansky improvised a new antenna to study the effects of telephone static. Instead, he discovered radio waves from the Milky Way, and in the process helped to create the science of radio astronomy. Often what we’re looking for leads us to something much different.
Then he delivered this provocative little bullet:
Thus, it’s important for the explorer to be willing to be led astray.
Interesting idea isn’t it? We need to be willing to go astray. I know what you are thinking: “Not me. No way. I’ll never be led astray.” Don’t miss the point. I’m not talking about straying with the message. The message must never change. Jesus was and will always be the only way to God. When I say we need to be willing to stray I mean from old thread bare methods. The message stays constant, but our methods must adjust to the changing culture. One of the problems in churches is the tendency to carve methods in the same granite as the message. What we will do is determined by what we did. Whether it is effective or not. We need to be led astray of this mindset.
Don’t think this is unbiblical. Scripture is filled with stories of men who were led astray. Look at Moses. He wanted to solve the Jewish problem his way. Great vision, wrong method. God sent Moses on a crash course in dependence at the Midian branch of the University of Brokenness. Look at Gideon. He wanted to deliver the nation with an army of 22,000. Great vision. Wrong method. God reduced his army to 300.
(Isaiah 55:9) “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Von Oech is right. If we are to break free of the tyranny of self-reliance we must be willing to be led astray. I would add, even from us.
What fresh directions is God taking you these days. Maybe its time to release your grip on the predictable past and enjoy the ride. Who knows what he is about to show you.