“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
I’ve lived in a lot of towns but the town I call my hometown would be the small yet rapidly growing town of Lake Jackson, Texas. The city was developed in the early 1940’s by the founder of Dow Chemical, Alden B. Dow, as a company town for employees and their families.
Dow’s son worked with the architect to design the layout of the town. The story, as it goes, is that the roads were designed in such a curvy and twisted way for the protection of children playing. (Because back then, it was still safe for children to play in the streets. For real. I know it’s hard to imagine, right?) It’s also said that they wound the streets around the large oak trees that have become the city’s icon (as well as kept the foundation repair companies in business).
My hometown has street names such as This Way, That Way, Any Way, West Way, Circle Way, Parking Way, Winding Way, and Center Way (which my family happened to live on for a decade). His Way leads to a local church. It’s brilliance and whimsy all wound up together. With the moss covered Oak as the city’s icon, she has been named the City of Enchantment but my family affectionately calls it the City of Entrapment. Based on it’s family-friendly, hometown charm and how easy it is to lose your way on the windy streets, some will never find their way out.
Twisted as it seems and as it is (quite literally), these street names and their design had a purpose and they have served their purpose well. I can imagine young Dow and his assistant (whose idea the street names were – YAY for brilliant assistants and bosses who listen!) loving their jobs on street naming day. I can almost hear the chuckles as they ran their fingers over the city’s blueprints and said, “This’ll be That Way and that will be This Way!’ ”. I doubt they could have predicted that countless photos would be taken of these street signs, that they would someday hold historical significance or that folks from all over the world would know about these famous street names someday.
So much has changed since 1941. While the street names of Lake Jackson remain stable on their post, the structures and culture have evolved and the people who have travel those streets have continued to adapt with the changing of times.
It’s mind-boggling to me to consider that the plans Alden B. Dow and his son put into place to create town order have paved the way for countless lives over the last 75 years.
I’ve had cause to ponder deeply about how crucial our choices are in recent years. Our choices or the choices of others that affect us, whether wise or unwise, lay a foundation or can very well change the trajectory of our lives. As I’ve seen the scripture, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) play out over these years in my life, it is so crystal clear to me how we can indeed make the choices we make but God’s will is going to be carried out. No matter what. It happens and will continue to happen every single time.
So with this idea of choices and God’s will set in play, and in the spirit of #FridayFive, I offer five scriptures that coordinate with street names from my hometown that could be of help to you as you decide which way to go.
“He is before all things, in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” Ephesians 4:14
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:11-12
Whichever way you go, whether the road twists and turns, even if you get lost along the way, I hope you will decide to go
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
It’s mind-boggling to me to consider that the plans God made and His Son put into place to create order, have paved the way for countless lives over the last several thousand years.
God gives us the gift of making our own plans but we must know that His way has and will always prevail. And His way will always be better than our way.
As you consider the plans of your heart today how will you decide which way to go?
Here is a great article from NBC News with more information about the fun street signs in my hometown.
No Way! Streets In Texas Town Go Every Which Way by Chris Rodell
This #FridayFive is brought to you by Mrs. Disciple’s #FridayFive Link Up over at Mrs. Disciple . The prompt this week was “You Decide”. I think she intended for the prompt to be a random collection of five things of our choosing but I took the prompt literally. Go check out Kelly’s great post
and visit a few others links from bloggers who have shared their choice of fives. Be sure to leave some comments. Bloggers love it when you do that! Comments are our love language. We write what we want to say but we also love to read what you want to say.