Travel in the last two weeks has been one navigation challenge after the other.
First, I had problems with Google Maps. My phone kept dropping the map and forgetting to give me directions. This wouldn’t have been a problem if I had not become dependent on lady google alerting me to my next exit or turn.
On the way home both my husband and I missed the turn off to Highway 2 and ended up driving from Missouri to Lincoln, Nebraska by way of Omaha. I think I was expecting Paul to remind me about the exit and he was expecting me to, well, pay attention and drive.
Because of these events I borrowed my father’s GPS to navigate my way around Detroit. I had a navigation issue just finding the car because they were painting the lot and the attendant handed me the key telling me to keep pressing the button until a car winked at me with its headlights. I kid you not, the very first turn outside of the rental car lot I heard the GPS say “recalculating.”
I must have been tired because later that night I took a wrong turn in my hotel room and walked into the closet. Then, when I got back to the Omaha airport the shuttle driver tried to convince me that a white Toyota was my car. When he saw the confused look on my face he immediately recalculated and checked the slip of paper he got from me and realized he was in the wrong lot. At least this navigation error was not my mistake.
What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him – these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. I Corinthians 2:9
We have a God much more effective than a GPS. He built us a perfect world, created us to live in it, and immediately recalculated when Adam and Eve took the first wrong turn toward sin. The snake made this choice seem reasonable, but God knew where they were headed and He had a better plan.
Just as I was certain I knew the correct way to head on the interstate in Detroit, I also tend to think I know the right way for my life and ministry decisions. Even wrong decisions seem to make sense – at the time. I might be certain I will be working for a particular institution but my efforts find serious road blocks. Even as I am making the wrong turns, God is recalculating my life for me. He knows in what direction I should be traveling and gets me there in spite of my faulty reading of the map. There is no promise that the route He chooses for me will avoid construction or traffic jams. There is no promise that I will arrive in the place I think I should go. When God is your GPS the promise is His wisdom and care. We cannot imagine what the journey will present, but we rest in the hope that God is our planner, our guide, and our fixer.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8: 26-28
When I think about the paths my thoughts follow I realize I can get myself so lost I might not even know what questions to ask. My desires, my assumptions, and my mistakes lead me in so many bad directions that it is a wonder I have not been lost in my own head.
When disappointments lead me away from my faith I am as lost as when I am traveling the wrong way on an interstate. When my assumptions about how things should work do not come to pass it is as if I turned a corner and found a road closed sign with no detour directions. When my sins cause me trouble I sit and fret and wonder what to do.
But God knows. He has the plan. He has the recalculations. He even sends His Spirit to pray for me and take me out of my confusion and grief. He gives me the faith and the strength to follow Him.
No matter how many times He has to recalculate my journey the destination remains the same. In the righteousness that comes from faith, all roads lead to God.
You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forever more. Psalm 16:11