Monday, July 16, 2007
I am fascinated by the GPS's (global positioning system) available to help you find your way when you are lost. I actually have some mixed feelings about them. Initially my thought was simply that they were an awesome invention because I have no personal sense of direction. I do fine as long as I have a map or specific directions that include 'turn right" as opposed to "turn west", but without one of those... consider me LOST! After using the On Star in my new HHR I discovered a couple of things. First, it was a little disconcerting that they could pinpoint my exact location - that "Big Brother" is watching sort of feeling. Second, the directions they gave me (from one teeny-tiny Indiana town to another one that wasn't even on my map) did not get me where I was trying to go. A friendly farmer at the side of the road, however, directed us to both the town and the building we were hunting. The error could have been by On Star - or possibly in how I communicated to them where I was trying to go - or in my attempt to follow their directions. Regardless, we arrived safely and on time at our destination. There was some comfort in knowing that help was just the push of a button away. I later started thinking about how the Holy Spirit acts as our own personal GPS (God's Perfect System). We know our final destination and we have a map (Bible) to guide us. Sometimes, however, we find ourselves in situations or places where the directions seem unclear or there are several roads that seem to lead to the same end but we don't know which is the best one to take. That's when we need to use God's GPS. While I am positive God's GPS never makes an error the other problems still occur. How often do we not even bother using the system because we think we know where we are going or the best way to get there? How often do we ignore the system because we want to go our own way which looks easier, more fun, or more scenic - usually to find we've chosen the rugged path with lots of hairpin turns and few rest stops? How often do we not communicate well (pray) first before embarking on our journey? How often do we not listen fully to the directions when they are given. I'm certainly guilty of only hearing part of what the spirit is trying to tell me because I think I know the rest or because I need to hurry on to my most current side trip. Further, if we don't understand the directions clearly, how often does pride or fear keep us from asking that friendly farmer who has been down the road before and will gladly share what he has found to be the best way to go? What would happen if we consulted God's GPS every step of the way? Not just for the "big" trips or after we've managed to get ourselves totally lost, but every single step. What if we got off the super highway of life we Americans live on and took the road that God has planned out from our birth to our death? I think parts of that road might be like the super highway- those places where satan is lying in wait for us to skid off the road and God wants us to pass by quickly and avoid taking a wrong exit. I think parts of the road are like a peaceful country lane where the road is familiar and safe. An occasionally roller coaster ride along the way may help us remain mindful of our reliance on God and cause us to keep focused on His GPS. I'm sure there are some scenic routes that God uses to teach us and to help us grow. Undoubtedly there are some crossroads along the way where we're sure we must be misunderstanding the GPS - where we know that if we only take the road to the left it is better road and will be a smoother, easier ride. So we make a choice. Either we follow the GPS or we rely on our own knowledge or instinct and likely end up stuck in some frightening part of town that we can't get out of soon enough. I try now to notice the On Star call button and the emergency button each time I get in my car. I remind myself that God is never too busy for my call for directions or help no matter how short the road is that I'm heading down. Even if it's as small a decision as my driveway is long, He'll offer guidance. I make a mental note to keep my eyes open for a specially placed friendly farmer if I get confused by the directions or accidentally make a wrong turn. Finally, I thank God for giving me His GPS so I don't spend my life lost.