Recently I was talking to friends about the outdated use of roadmaps. In the digital age, we have adopted smarter technology which is sometimes built into our vehicles and which guides us with voice prompts to successfully reach our destination.
I reflected with this friend that I lament the loss of the skill of map reading. To me, it goes to the wayside with a number of other skills that are no longer relevant or necessary to get through any particular situation or circumstance. Simple skills like focusing a camera, using a phone book (or directory assistance), writing a letter and sending it to a loved one, or, again, reading a roadmap to complex skills like folding a roadmap.
See, digital natives don’t even get that joke.
I shared my frustration with the mindset about the GPS. That is, if your GPS isn’t working you can’t possibly get to where you are going. I often remind my family when the GPS is unclear, to look up from the GPS. There are actual signs on the road that will tell you where you are going, especially at intersections where the choice seems urgent and perhaps unclear. Instead the whole car gets all wound up trying to discern what the GPS is saying: ‘Is this the turn? Does it mean the next turn? IS THIS THE TURN?!?!?!’ Each of us seems to have a different opinion on how to interpret the GPS directions. We often forget to look up at perhaps more reliable or distinguishable ways to answer this question: the big green signs on the road.
Why do we do that? How have we become so dependent within one generation (yes, I used to use roadmaps and the big green signs…even before MapQuest changed our lives). I think I know the answer: laziness. And I include myself; in fact, I am probably first in line to have an easier way to get around.
Isn’t that interesting to think about? The closer you get to the intersection the more urgent it becomes to have clear direction about what to do next. And the more comfortable you become in someone or something else giving the directions, the more at risk you are for falling victim to that dependency.
Hmmmm. I wonder if there’s a Jesus blog in that metaphor? Yep, there is.
Each day you and I have decisions to make about big and small things. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t long for a roadmap for my life, something that will unequivocally tell me the right way to go so that I don’t have to be unsure. These days I even find myself looking for the roadmap on my children’s behalf. Where should she go to college? Is this the right young man for her to date? How many times have you done the same? I would guess, if you are like me, you may have even needed a roadmap for decision-making even before you were aware of the need!
I know if you are reading this blog you already know where I am going with this, people. But let me spell it out.
The only way to be sure that we are going the right way is to go God’s way. This won’t always look or feel like the way we want to go. That’s ok, He knows better. Trust Him.
The only way to be sure that we are going God’s way is to be in step with Him. Galatians 5:25 reminds us ‘If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.’ (ESV) This means we don’t run ahead, we don’t lag behind, we stay in lock step with the Spirit of God which He promises to give us to guide us in every way.
Study His word. Do it every day. Don’t skip. I know, I know. I don’t care how busy you are, just do it. If you don’t, you are sure to get lost. Doesn’t it make more sense to stay on track? Aren’t you really too busy to NOT have good wise counsel on every decision? How much time have you lost in the U-turns of life?
Remember that God is not hiding from you. He wants to walk with you and give you direction. Here are just a few examples of this promise. Go ahead and dive in to find your own. Today!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. Deuteronomy 30:14