Do you ever talk back to your GPS? Not only do my husband and I talk back to ours, we challenge it on a regular basis!
When I stop to think about it, the technology in these devices is quite remarkable. They pick up a signal pinpointing my location and then analyze routes to find the best one to get me to my destination.
Why would I pay for one of these units and then disregard what it tells me? The short answer is because I think I’m right!
We recently looked at a map to visualize our route before putting the address into the GPS. It didn’t take long before the familiar voice (we call her Susan), told us to turn and we said, “No, that’s not the right way.” It recalculated and gave new directions, which we also ignored. We carried on like this for close to two hours.
After reaching our destination we discovered the route Susan wanted us to take would have been more direct. There was more than one way to get to where we were going and the one we stubbornly stuck to was not the best one.
How often in life do I seek advice and then ignore it because I’m convinced I know best? When I’d rather be right than listen to other options, my objectivity suffers. Who knows what I might learn if I take the opportunity to listen to others? My lesson this time is that I’m not always right!
“There is no one as deaf as he who will not listen.” Yiddish Proverb
Technology has changed our vacations. When we were away recently my husband used his smart phone to look up attractions we wanted to visit. I would then put the address into our GPS system and off we’d go. The concession to our former way of travel was the ever present map, which helped keep our bearings.
This system worked well for us. We did a lot of driving as we explored the area and found our way around quite easily. One day while we were walking much farther than intended, my husband used his phone to bring up a map so we could find our way back.
In my everyday life, the road map I use is the Bible. It has all of the information needed to keep me heading in the right direction. I also rely on the Holy Spirit to guide me through unknown territory. These tried and true methods have been working for thousands of years and will always be available for me. It doesn’t matter where I happen to be, the signal guiding me is always strong and reliable.
If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn’t find fault with them. James 1:5 GWT
[The Lord says,] “I will instruct you. I will teach you the way that you should go. I will advise you as my eyes watch over you.” Psalm 32:8 GWT
The store I work in changed locations recently. We get phone calls regularly asking where our new store is and how to get there.
Last weekend we had a booth at a Home Show and I asked everyone who stopped by if they’d been to our new location. Not everyone was familiar with the street name or the landmarks I gave. When that happened I would give them detailed directions. The first thing I needed to establish was their starting point. From there I could guide them to our store.
This is a good example of life. In order to reach my destination I need to know where I am starting from and where I want to be. Only then can I plan the route to get there. I also need to ensure that I know east from west when I am making a turn.
Even with accurate directions it is still possible to get lost if I misinterpret them. Detours and roadblocks may cause my route to be altered. A once familiar landmark may no longer be there to guide me. There is always the possibility that the directions will have to be re-evaluated in order to reach my destination. Am I able to make the necessary corrections?
The good news is that God knows where he wants to take me and how to get me there. What looks like a detour to me, may be part of the overall plan. The shortcut I wanted to take may not be in my best interests. When I spend time with God I will understand his leading and know that the best route is the one he has planned for me.
A person may plan his own journey, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9 GWT