Directionally Challenged

I love maps. I have clear childhood memories of my dad asking me to look up addresses in his bright orange binder of Key Maps. (I know I’m showing my age but whatever.) I was amazed that every street in this big city was written down on a piece of paper. As long as l read it correctly, I could figure out where we were going. But my success was dependent upon my ability to read the map accurately.

In college, when movies like The Mummy and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider came out, I was obsessed with treasure hunting. I mean, I bought all of those types of movies. Obsessed. It combined the mystery of reading a coded map with the possibility of finding a secret/hidden/lost treasure. While the movies’ main character was highly motivated by the “treasure” at the end, we see that their success as a direct correlation to their ability to decipher the codes in the map and then follow them.

As an adult juggling a full time job and three little people with their own full time schedules, I use my map app (or GPS) all the time. Whether I am going somewhere new or going to/from work or home, I use it. I want to see up to date traffic patterns and detours so I can make the best decision on my route in an effort to save time, headaches, and cuss words. Unlike traditional maps, I am not depending on my own ability to read the map; instead, my hope lies in the GPS.

For those of us who are directionally challenged, the GPS is pretty on point. We can tell it where we want to go; it tells us the best route to take. It adjusts for detours and accidents. But it also allows for the user to change the route manually, if needed. While this is a great feature, it can often lead to trouble. While we might think we’re right, sometimes we aren’t. Sometimes we have to be humble in our ignorance. We don’t always know what the best route is. We have to trust that the GPS just might have the inside scoop.

Now, you might read this with a standard GPS, global positioning system, in mind. And that’s relevant… but what if you replace the word global with Godly. I believe that God wants to chart our course just like a GPS. He will tell you the best way to go, often with the quickest travel time. But because we can’t see the route or know the timing, we grow impatient. We switch to manual mode – changing routes and taking “the back way” – only to discover that we are off course. Thankfully, GPS will redirect you from any location.

While we have been given free will, wisdom is required to know the best road to take. With either view, global or Godly, it requires trust in the system to follow the directions provided. The ultimate goal is to hear the words, “You have arrived.”

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