Sunday, August 30, 2009

Clueless in Canada

When God was assembling my double helix, He left out the genetic code that would give me a sense of direction. North, south, east, west—I sure don’t know. I drive by landmarks because unless I really concentrate, I’m not even sure which direction my house faces.

On top of that, God created me with a Swiss-cheese brain when it comes to remembering numbers—it’s a struggle to even remember my own wedding anniversary, much less whether I drive I-10 or I-12 into town. I’ve memorized the information numerous times before only to forget it again.

As you can probably guess, I have a serious fear of being lost. My husband, on the other hand, has no problem driving on an unknown road because “we’re headed the right way.” It took awhile to convince him that my directionless-ness and “numeric memory loss” were real, but after answering too many phone calls from a teary-eyed, lost wife, two years ago, he realized MapQuest wasn’t enough and bought me a Garmin for a Valentines’ Day gift.

All last week, I drove through Michigan and Canada, obediently following the directions coming from the silver rectangular box mounted on my front windshield. I would type in my destination and then push down the gas pedal, driving in faith that the satellite would take me the shortest route to my destination.

The thing about a Garmin is that “she” only tells you one turn at a time. An annoyingly emotionless feminine voice will state, “In .3 miles, turn left, then stay right.” Then, “Drive 26 miles to Brown Road.” Any wrong turn would result in the dreaded “Recalculating.”

My parents don’t have faith in the Garmin. They have faith in paper maps, which caused problems because they constantly questioned “her” directions, sometimes outright disagreeing with the route she had chosen. And yet, I always arrived at my intended destination.

In my own Christian walk, I know my direction is up and my destination is heaven. But I don’t know the exact paths, hills, and curves God wants me to take on my journey to Him. Through His Word, God guides me, but I still have to follow in faith since He doesn’t reveal the next turn I should take until it’s time to hit the brake and turn the wheel. If I choose my own paths, I’ll be lost and need some definite “recalculating” to get me back on course.

After over 20 hours last week following Garmin, God has shown me His purpose in creating me without a sense of direction: if I knew the paths I were to take or where I needed to turn, I wouldn’t need faith. I wouldn’t need to rely on Him as much to direct me.

The 23rd Psalm speaks of the Lord as a Shepherd who “guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (3-4).

Proverbs 3:5-6 also gives the benefits of following God in faith: “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 your paths straight.

Perhaps you are struggling with what you perceive to be a deficiency in yourself and wonder why God made you this way. Could it be that your weakness or what you lack makes you rely more fully on God? Or perhaps you are struggling with the path you’re on, frustrated that you don’t know what’s around the bend. Rest in peace knowing that God knows the next turn if you’ll continue to wait for direction. It's all about faith.

1 comment:

  1. What a great analogy Jennifer. We had one of those GPS systems while in Napa Valley last year, and we would have been completely lost in the twisting, turning roads without it. God, too, in his infinite wisdom keeps us on the narrow path -- even when the path is winding.