Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered him, "Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward." -- John 13:36
We never get ahead of God. As disciples we are, naturally, always following. Like Peter, we may not know where the Lord is going at a given point in life, so we do not always know -- perhaps we never really know, where we are headed. And sometimes, as is the case here with Peter, a disciple is told he or she isn't going anywhere but must stay and wait a while. God seems to go around the bend and leaves us alone, wondering. There are times when we serve, as Milton said, by standing and waiting.
But the aloneness is seeming only. Like a watchful father, the Lord's eye never leaves us, though Him we may not see. Soon, relative to His timetable, a call will come for us to move. We will be guided along the path that He has walked and prepared for us. This is what the Apostle learned, and it is what many have learned, I think by necessity, the hard way in the days since. We make our plans, plot our courses, and, in the end, are led where each must go, to destiny, to death, to destiny beyond death.
I mentioned Milton, and I'll let him say it his way.
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."