“Do You Know the Way to San Jose” is a song from the 1960s sung by Dionne Warwick that describes people going to San Jose to find fame and fortune, but they end up as valets and gas station attendants. I thought of this song when when I read Genesis 12 and how God instructed Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you (Genesis 12:1, NASB).” I wonder if Abram thought he might hit it big, especially after God tells him:
“And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed (12:2-3).”
Abram doesn’t exactly become a great nation in his lifetime, but he doesn’t end up working at a gas station or being a valet either. Abram’s faith in God and his desire to follow God play a role in God’s plan for future generations. As Hebrews 11:13 describes it, “All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance…” Abram, who becomes Abraham, never saw the ultimate fruit of his obedience to God in his lifetime.
As Warwick’s song describes, sometimes God wants us to pack up and move. But it’s not chasing our dreams of becoming famous — it’s faithfully pursuing God’s plan and being content with where it leads us. It may lead us to a place, job or position we did not plan on, but we need to have faith that it is where God wants us to be at that moment— even if we don’t understand why or see the purpose in our lifetime.
© 2020 CGThelen