Anytime I have to do it I follow the same procedure. I look up the directions. Write them out in giant print so I can read them in the car. Try my best to memorize them. And head out, still a bit nervous.
This is not a good way to be. And I’ll admit this fear has kept me from trying new things and seeing new places. Lately I’ve been trying to pinpoint the reasons why I’m so reluctant to venture out to places I’ve never been. Two reasons stand out to me.
I like to know where I’m going. And I hate getting lost.
I know exactly what you’re thinking. It’s 2014. Why is she still writing out directions by hand on a piece of paper?!? Well judge me no longer. I finally got a GPS. And I used it for the first time last spring, to visit my friend Rebecca at her new home in a nearby town.
I quickly discovered that a successful trip required three things of me. I had to LISTEN. If my radio was up too loud, I wouldn’t hear the spoken directions. I had to be AWARE. The GPS lady wasn’t going to tell me if a small child suddenly ran out into the road. And I had to TRUST. Could a space-based satellite navigation system really help me find the way?
Hesitantly I set out for her house, and as promised, I was led right to her door, exactly where I wanted to go. What freedom! Suddenly my world held no more boundaries. I could travel anywhere, as long as I had my trusty GPS to guide me.
How might our lives change for the better if we trusted God to be our navigator? And why do we often find it so difficult to do? It’s human nature to want to know where we’re going. To want to be our own pilot. We are creatures of control. It takes a tremendous leap of faith to set off on a journey without knowing the way. So how do we do it? How do we surrender enough to let God lead the way?
By doing three things:
Just as I had to turn down the radio to hear the GPS instructions, we need to be still and silent once in a while in order to hear God’s call. Clear away the noise and distractions of life. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
God speaks to us in very surprising ways. And temptation comes in very attractive packages. Who is God sending to speak to you today? Who or what is standing in your path, testing you and tempting you to make poor choices?
We must believe that God wants only the best for us. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) We need to trust in GOD’S plan instead of insisting on OUR plan.
Jesus said the following words to his disciples many years ago: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) He promised to make a place for us in heaven and to show us the way. But he never promised that it would be a straight course. Don’t be surprised if your path changes when you least expect it.
When I left Rebecca’s house at the end of our visit, for reasons unknown to me, the GPS decided to send me home another way. I immediately became anxious. But I know the old way now! That’s how I want to go. But GPS had another plan for me. That is how God works in us. Just when we feel secure that we are on our way… on a path that is righteous and true… God sends us on another way.
We have no choice but to follow with anticipation, excitement, and FAITH. Secure in the knowledge that it will lead us to the Promised Land.