Have you ever heard the phrase, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”? I’ve got to be honest, I never really realized what it meant. I’ve heard it enough times to memorize it, yet its actual meaning was lost on me. I figured it meant that you make plans and they don’t work out for good. Well, the journalist in me did a little digging to find that it meant something quite different. In fact, it was exactly the lesson I needed to learn.
Yesterday was rough. Sick kids and teenage hormones paired with a car accident! Not a happiness day. More like a go-cry-on-the-bathroom-floor kind of day. I made many plans for my day, none of which got accomplished, and I felt defeated by about 9 a.m.
I’d invited a girlfriend and her son over for a playdate and she canceled on me at the last moment. I’ll admit I wasn’t at all disappointed by that, seeing as how I wasn’t sure I’d make for great company. When I let slip to her that I’d be helping my parents handle their insurance company since they were in the aforementioned car accident, she found that moment to be the wise sage. Like me, she is drawn to music as therapy and she sent me a link to a song. A song I’d heard. At first, I didn’t even listen to it, I just sung the lyrics in my head and moved on.
By the time I’d finished all my morning chores and responsibilities, my chest was tight and there was a knot in my throat the size of a golf ball. I went into my bedroom to check my phone and her message was still pulled up. So I listened to the song she sent me, and that’s where the bathroom floor comes in. I crumpled on the floor in a puddle of what my kids call “Happy Tears”.
I can’t explain what happened in that moment but I would use the word breakthrough. I would say that if I was stuck in the overwhelming “mud” of my day with no hope of escape, that song was a rope being tossed to me and a call to action.
Which brings me back to the proverb: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is found stated differently throughout history but the meaning is universal: Promises and plans must be put into action, or else they are useless. We can stand around and pray for all kinds of things. Riches or triumphs or acceleration. But if there is no action behind our prayer, then what does God actually have to bless? If you have your foot all the way down on the gas pedal but the car is in park, WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’LL GO? Yes, nowhere….fast!
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Words are just that – words. My handsome husband, who bases most of our life lessons off of his football career, states it even more simply. “Don’t talk about it, BE about it.” Words without action are just words. You have to put in your 50% and then God can put in His. Rest assured that He will. You just have to be willing to accept that He may not bless you in exactly the way you want.
But faith is just that. Trust. Trust in God with all your heart. Pray endlessly. Rest at His feet and He will and CAN handle the rest even if you can’t. So take your life out of park and start driving!
Be safe, be great, be you!
Reality Changing Observations:
Q1. What lessons or proverbs do you think you’ve misinterpreted in life?
Q2. How could trusting God to move in your hardest times help you?
Q3. How might you place actions behind your words to get more answers than questions?