As I left my daughters house in Kalamazoo, I glanced down at the handwritten directions lying on the passenger seat beside me. Left at Drake, check, right at Stadium (131), check, and as I came up on I94 heading to Chicago/Detroit I remember thinking that I didn't want to head back to Chicago so I kept driving straight on hwy 131. A couple of miles down the unfamiliar road, I looked down at the directions, whoops, I was suppose to take I94 to 69S. So instead of turning around, I pulled out my GPS, trusting that it would show me another way to get to Indiana. Now, I don't know about you, but I have been very hesitant in using a GPS, in fact, being a map woman, I wouldn't even have one except that it was a gift. You see, I'm a visual learner. I want to see how I am going to get from point A to point Z, and I hadn't figured out how to pull that particular map up on the GPS. Anyways, I decided to go on faith that it would direct me, somehow, someway to my Bluffton destination.
The first direction said to drive 6 miles to Michigan Ave, then turn left. Any Michigan Ave I had ever traveled had been a highly traveled city street. It turned out that this Michigan Ave was a hilly 2 lane country road. And so the turns and twists began and with each one, I drove further and further into deep Michigan country, having to trust the GPS more and more. As I was driving I heard Gods small voice remind me of how much this "off the beatin path" journey was alot like my life.
You see, first, when I wasn't paying attention, I missed my road. Similarly, when I don't crack my bible map open every day and really pay attention to what God's trying to tell me, I can miss my path, my blessing or an opportunity to show His love for the day.
The bumpy, hilly roads reminded me of life in general. Although I had the GPS to guide me, realistically I had to trust the unseen. When life comes to an abrupt stop, when it doesn't seem to me like Gods taking me in the right direction, do I really trust God or do I just say I trust God?
Along the curvy way, there were all kinds of buildings and homes, well manicured as well as dilapidated ones, one had a piece of plywood as a front door, in another home someone had taken a church window and reconstructed it on the 2nd floor. Many needed paint. I thought about how God places all sorts of people in my life. Do I just pass them by or do I really stop to get to know them, and when they do let me into their lives, am I prepared to see the inside as well as the outside and not judge them, loving them for them for the individuals God created them to be?
I passed many graveyards and prayed for my friend Karen who's son had recently died in a car accident and was now with Jesus. How's my prayer passion for my friends and family? As I slowed down for construction zones, I thought of the times in my life that God seemed distant, confusing. At those times He reminds me that there have been and will be times in my life when I need repair and when that happens, I need slow down and be still, so that I can hear what He has to say. Not heeding the signs in the past have caused accidents with injuries and long recovery times.
In a small town, I stopped at a house to check out a plant sale. That caused the GPS to "recalculate". How many times has God had to recalculate my journey because I had something different in mind. I wouldn't blame Him if He had the same frustrating tone as my GPS lady.
There were a few times that I could use my cruise control, ahhh, but not for long. Resting times, before the next trial. Then, just when I'm wondering where the next road will take me, I see a glimpse of an interstate 69 sign. Yea!!! I should not have been surprised that the GPS would eventually lead me to my final destination. I only needed to trust its programming, hum, sound familiar?
Why is it so hard to trust God's plan? 1)We can't visually see the outcome of the journey. 2)There are many curves, T's, distractions, flat tires & recalculations in our lives that are unexpected and confusing. 3)People, yes, even our friends/family try to persuade us into taking the worldly path causing us to question. 4) We are programed with finite brains, not able to understand the whys-needing to trust the why nots.
GPS= Gods Picturesque Story... GODs story, not ours. . He will lead us blindly through the back roads with not only twists and turns, but unexpected beauty and solace to our final destination in heaven. Embrace your box. Don't miss out on the ride of your life!
"Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world."