The Path of Michael Jackson

This past week I’ve had the opportunity to read a couple books. One of them is The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley. It serves as a sequel of sorts to his book The Best Question Ever, which deals with our daily decisions and how they influence not only who we are, but influence who we are becoming often more than we ever know in the moment.

The basic premise of the book is that “direction, not intention, determines where you end up”. It sounds really simple, doesn’t it? Not extraordinarily profound. Often, though, it’s the simple truths that confound us. It’s the simple truths that either gives us great leverage or become seeming thorns in our side. A minor turn here or there surely won’t keep me from where I want to go, right? We don’t use that logic when taking a trip. Why do we use that logic in life? There’s probably no better illustration of that than what is in the news right now with the passing of Michael Jackson.

Even a casual observer of his life could see the signs. “No, Michael, don’t go that way…it’s a dead end.” All of the allegations, quirky behaviors, and strained relationships along the way just illustrated how easy it was for everyone except for Michael to see where he was going. Most of the world excused him, though, because he was so incredibly talented. I mean, come on, he united people (“We are the world”…remember?), broke racial barriers, he entertained people, oh, and the voice…wow. He almost single-handedly shaped the popular music of an entire generation and beyond. In all of that, though, the path of his decisions led him right where he ended up. Remember, it is our direction, not our intentions that determine where we go in life. The Scripture tells us that the “heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?”.  God is the only One that is deserving of our whole heart. Do not trust your heart to something or someone else, or you will be highly disappointed. The next time you are up against a major decision in life, ask yourself these three questions:

1. Does this option violate one of God’s laws?

2. Does this option violate a principle?

3. In light of my past and my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do?

I’m currently on vacation and am sharing the same beach with people that, fiscally speaking, are both poorer and richer than I. However, the road we chose got us both to the same destination (for whatever reason). The good news (and bad news) is that in God’s economy, it doesn’t matter whether you are Michael Jackson or Average Joe, the path you choose will always lead to the same place. At the end of the day, whoever dies with the most toys…still dies. The real question is, how do you want your story told?

Take a hard look at the man in the mirror… What legacy do you want to leave? Are you currently traveling the path that will get you there?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

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