The highway wound through the dense forest. Deep ditches hugged the road. For miles I drove without seeing anyone; pedestrians, cyclists, cars or trucks.
The car was gobbling gas. When the gas gauge died a few years ago, I began relying on the trip meter for estimated gas consumption readings. Although I could guess the distance the car would travel before running out of fuel, I had no idea how much further it was to my destination or if there was a gas station along the way.
A young black bear sat on the side of the road, playing contently like a child.
Apprehensively I continued driving, wondering how much further to my destination. I wanted to see the lighthouse at the end of the road. As I approached each curve I thought 'It must be right after this curve.' But after each curve there was disappointment. On the approach of the next curve again my hopes heightened. And after the curve, disappointment.
I had to abandon my lighthouse search. Fuel was getting low. I turned the car around and headed back to the main highway, hoping I had enough fuel to drive to the first gas station on the main route.
On the return trip, I passed the same young black bear. He was still contently playing beside the highway. He didn't appear to have any concerns; he was satisfied where he was at the moment. I, on-the-other-hand, had been rushing to see something only to retreat in dismay. I hadn't enjoyed the trip but instead anxiously eyed the trip meter.
Life is much like that highway through the forest. We hope for something good just around the bend. If that something doesn't materialize, we are disappointed and often give up hope and abandon our dreams. But when we walk in God's will, we are assured of hope, peace and dreams fulfilled because He said, "I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV