When You Get to Where you are Going Will You be Where You Want to Be? ( Balaam and his Donkey)

There is nothing more unfulfilling than a person who is so sure of themselves that they set a goal, accomplished the goal and then realized that they were either on the wrong track or achieved their goal but it was less than what they could have or should have done. I raise the question, “When you get to where you are going, will you be where you want to be?

Some folk think they know so much, are so sure of themselves, that they do not realize until they get to where they are going that they realize that maybe their goals where understated, not well thought out, and ultimately unfulfilling. Some will go through a career, make their mark, and still not know what they want to do “When they grow up.” I think at every step of the way along the road of life we need to check ourselves and ask the question, “What is most important?”   I ask the question another way: “What will God have me to do at this point in my life?”

In the Book of Numbers, Balaam, the prophet, runs from the direction of God. God tells him to give a prophecy that is painful and uncomfortable. Balaam runs from the prophecy he is directed to give. God becomes upset with Balaam, but Balaam cannot see what God really wants him to do. Balaam runs so hard from the will of God that eventually the donkey he is riding on starts talking to him. That’s right, the donkey begins to talk. Listen to the dialogue between Balaam and the donkey:

Numbers 22: 22 God’s anger was kindled because he was going, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the road as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 The donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand; so the donkey turned off the road, and went into the field; and Balaam struck the donkey, to turn it back onto the road. 24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it scraped against the wall, and scraped Balaam’s foot against the wall; so he struck it again. 26 Then the angel of the Lord went ahead, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam; and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29 Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me! I wish I had a sword in my hand! I would kill you right now!” 30 But the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, which you have ridden all your life to this day? Have I been in the habit of treating you this way?” And he said, “No.”

31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with his drawn sword in his hand; and he bowed down, falling on his face. 32 The angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? I have come out as an adversary, because your way is perverse before me. 33 The donkey saw me, and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let it live.” 34 Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now therefore, if it is displeasing to you, I will return home.” 35 The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men; but speak only what I tell you to speak.” So Balaam went on with the officials of Balak. [1]


Questions for Reflection:

  1. What do you do to make sure your direction is in sync with what God would have you to do?
  2. Have you ever tried to run from what God was calling you to do? Why?
  3. What about the story of Balaam and donkey can you relate to?



Lord, I want your help with direction in my life. Help me to keep things in perspective. Point me on the right path. Grant me clarity of vision and purity of purpose. Teach me not to run from the truth. Help me not to be so sure of myself that I miss the blessing that you have placed within the palm of my hand. Lord, make me a better listener. Lord, make me a better follower. Lord, make me a better leader. Lead me Lord. Lead me in your righteousness. Make your way plain before me. It is you Lord only that I need to follow. Show me where to go and I will follow. Teach me what to do and I will be there for you. Bless me now in your name. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr, Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about Nicholas Hood III Ministries at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org



[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Nu 22:22–35). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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