Which GPS is best?

 In Balancing, Connecting, Facing Reality, Love, The Ways of God, Travel

There I was again – in an all-too-familiar situation in which I find myself so often since moving to another town. Instead of being in a suburb south of the main state capital, I am now north and east. I have to come at city destinations from the opposite direction and often find myself depending upon my GPS.

Today was such a day. I needed to drop my truck off for some long-overdue repairs right at morning rush hour. I have had to rely on my telephone’s GPS a lot these days, but I have found on too many occasions that the device will send me literally circling my intended destination. Today’s excursion was triply troubled: it was raining and slick—being the first storm of the season, my route was taking me on back roads, not main corridors, and everyone in the tri-county area seemed to need to take my prescribed route.

My son had set out from his home, using his trustier GPS, to pick me up after I dropped my vehicle. We had some phone contact enroute, during which I discovered his phone had sent him on a bit different path. Not encouraging. We have discovered that his device is much more reliable than mine so I would like to have coordinated our travel to caravan, but he had set off later than I. As it happens, upon finally arriving, my son pulled up alongside me.

This is not the first time I have pondered the technology of the guidance systems available to us. What I tend to experience is that somewhere along my route I begin to question whether I put in the correct address and wonder if I should continue to trust or abandon the system and find my own route. Much like my dealings with God.

Even Adam and Eve were questioned about God’s directions, “Hath God said?” Not unusual that we would question ourselves along life’s path. Some might even call it blind faith, but I believe that is a oversimplification. It is not walking blind to follow the trail that God has us on. Our job is to just be sure we hear Him correctly as to the direction – which is the equivalent of putting in the correct address. If we have any trouble hearing His voice, it is easy to see why we might question ourselves along the way.

Then we are to use the best possible tools to understand how to get to our destination. My son’s GPS keeps track of moment-by-moment changes in traffic patterns due to such occurrences as weather, accidents, and construction, where my device does not. That is the equivalent of continuing to listen to the Lord once He has set us on a path. We—shall I say I—tend to like to be on auto pilot—give me the directions, turn me loose and I will move toward the destination without thought, thank you very much.

Our Lord never meant to just turn us loose. He is relational all the time. He knows how quickly our path can become foggy, hence unclear. He wants to remind us by His constant presence that He is indeed still in control. I have to laugh when someone tells me of a horrendous path they are on and then they declare God has everything under control. It is correct that the bottom line, the end of the story is in God’s hands, but, people, it is so easy for us to not release the reins to Him such that He can guide our every movement. We often suffer needlessly by having to be in control.

It would be silly if it weren’t so dangerous. Once I am on the road, I need to know what lies ahead to determine every turn. Equivocating while in busy traffic is scary. Had I not experienced the mercy of a few kind drivers, I would not have been allowed to move into lanes that were required to get to my destination. As in life, there are a few—scarce though they may be—who are willing to help us restore our direction. I think it is this kindness, of strangers no less, that is what God refers to when He says to bear one another’s burdens, treat others the way we want to be treated. In my present situation, I depend on the random acts of kindness I encounter.

But, of course, what—or whom—I need to trust in is the One who can see it all, the Beginning and the End. I am assured of reaching my destination if I keep my eyes on Him, ever listening to his gentle coaching, leaning in to His presence where there is certainty and peace. His guidance system is fine-tuned for eternity. With Him, I will never take a wrong turn.

Clever as we humans are at creating devices to guide us–some are even better than others—but none are a substitute for His Heavenly guidance.


– Shari

(originally penned November 16, 2017)


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