God’s Word for Today: Guidance
On my last trip back to USA, I was fortunate enough to procure a rental car that included its own guidance system. I always wondered why anyone would pay for that added feature. Especially when you can simply access the exact same thing via cellular phone and Google Maps. But, once I figured out how to use it and program my desired destination, I soon learned the “hands free” advantage. Plus, the safety factor of viewing a screen in front of you instead of searching your phone while driving is most important.
I did enjoy, on some twisted level, confusing or frustrating the guidance system of the car by going in a different direction than what was instructed. It continually was stating “Recalculating route” and in not exact words, “please turn around and return to where I told you to go”. Finally, the guidance system would give in and let me have my way and show me the new route that would take me to my destination.
On my last night in USA, I was most blessed to be invited to supper at my Aunt Birgit and cousin Katie’s house in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. The guidance system in the car took me directly to their home without problems. Good stuff. When I left their house, with a most overfilled stomach and joyous heart, I knew which major highways and freeways I should use to return the rental car and proceed to the airport. But, for one last go-round, I decided to use the car’s guidance system and see where it took me. I was not in the least disappointed in discovering the definition of adventure.
When I programmed my destination, I picked one of the general options suggested, “Entrance into Denver International Airport”. What the car’s guidance system had in mind, and what I envisioned were on opposite sides of the direct route spectrum. I soon questioned the true definition of “Entrance into DIA”
As I was passing through the backstreets and avenues of what seemed like every suburb of Denver, I started to panic. Yes, I drove through numerous neighborhoods with all their Christmas decorations in full display and those were nice. But, I am the type of person, who on trips, cannot relax fully until baggage check, customs, and security checks are behind me, and I am sitting at the gate for my flight, even if it is 2 hours early or more.
My “new and shorter” route was becoming a simple tour of the town. It was dark, I was lost, and my sense of direction totally gone. In the daylight, no problem. Find the mountains, head in the opposite direction, seek the airport. Thanks to my car’s deciding is was going to get even with me for not following exact directions the last few trips, it had me somewhere between no man’s land and completely deserted detour to nowhere roads.
Finally, I stopped, programmed the exact address of the rental agency, reviewed the map for directions, and simply followed the guidance system’s rather poignant directions. I had to with faith, trust the guidance it was giving me. I was completely at the disposal of this guidance system. I had no choice. If I tried to find my own way, I would have been driving around in the dark for like, ever.
Within 10 minutes, I was where I wanted to be, the luminous sign designating success in front. All panic was left behind. Oh, what a trip.
Proverbs 1:5. Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.
This rather lengthy story, has some very pertinent points that I was instantly aware of once I had reached my final destination safe and sound. Please understand what God is saying here.
First, the guidance system in that car depended on GPS (Global Positioning System) which is an amazing piece of modern technology. Our lives should also include their own GPS (God’s Permanent Service). This technology has been around for a few thousand years, and has never failed. We are even getting ready to celebrate God’s major upgrade to His guidance system with the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Second, even when given clear guidance (bible, church, pastor, Holy Spirit), it is so very easy to choose our own direction. We may even hear or feel the need to turn back and go in the right direction. But instead, we stubbornly push forward to what we presume is our own best choice. For whatever selfish reason.
Third, we may in our own, not so wise process, discern that “I know best”. Even if it is a much more difficult and arduous journey we continue to stubbornly lurch ahead. Maybe when we trip and fall or get confused, we may seek God’s direction. But then, once the going is good, we put God in the backseat and again, drive our own life’s way.
Fourth, God will patiently wait for us while we are driving our lives blindly around. He knows that sooner or later; His correct guidance is best. He has blessed each and everyone of us with free choice. That free choice, without including God, is never such a good route. Temporarily fun and exciting, but continually finds the dead ends and backroads of life.
And lastly, one day we will finally discover that we are lost. Not just a little bit confused. Totally lost. There is no turning back. There is no going forward. There is just darkness. There is despair. There is the definition of “at our end”. Then, and only then, do we stop and reprogram our destination with God’s Word. We put all other directions in the backseat, and let God start driving. We decide it is in our best interest to fully trust God’s guidance. We find our way. The Light is revealed. We are at peace. The gate for passage to everlasting life is found.…………… Amen and amen…………..