Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ignoring My GPS

I took a short trip out of town yesterday and I used a GPS navigation system. As I was driving back home, I noticed that one of the electronic interstate signs warned of a five mile backup ahead. Since I was in familiar territory at this time, I decided to take a different, longer, yet backup-free route. This drove the GPS navigator crazy. Because this route was longer, the GPS kept asking me to turn around every time I reached an exit.

This reminded me about my relationship with God. There are times when God takes my life through something that makes no sense to me. After all, I know exactly where I should be going. It appears to me that God is taking a longer, more circuitous route. Frustrated, I constantly remind God that I am headed the in wrong direction. At every possible turn, I assist God with new directions and more suggestions on getting to where I need to go. Because, after all I know where I’m going.

It really boils down to one of two things: either I personally believe God wants the best for me, or I don’t. If I don’t believe in God, then any discussion about Him is irrelevant. If, on the other hand, Jeremiah 29:11 means anything to me, the choice then becomes whether I will trust Him.

The difficult thing about trusting God, at least for me, is learning to shut up and sit down. You see, God’s way is not always the easy way:

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14

When I review my life and my plans, God’s directions may not make much sense. But, to follow my travel analogy, it very well may be that God sees the backup ahead and desires to avoid it altogether. After all, taking a little longer to get there is better than not getting there at all. What may appear to be shortcuts could be nothing other than fast exits out of God’s perfect plan.

That is the essence of trusting in God. I have to unequivocally believe that He knows what He is doing and where He is taking me. Had I paid attention to the GPS, I would have been stopped in traffic for a long time. Though the route I took was longer, I arrived faster than I would have had I gone the way the GPS directed.

So, if I want to end up where God wants me to go, I will allow God to direct my steps. Any delay in the process cannot compare to the hassles and pain of going my own way. Initially, God's way may not make much sense, but in the long run I'll get to hear the words of Matthew 25:21:

Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.