Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a people relied upon a tool called: The Thomas Guide Maps. This dates back to a time in history when research meant we were actually required to turn pages, read and figure things out. Voice activation and recognition were elements found only in Star Trek.
Fast forward to this twenty-first century and the brilliant conventional tool known as GPS is as common as real electric powered vehicles. GPS, a familiar acronym that we casually drop in mid-sentence when identifying (or attempting to find) a location or more frequently a destination … it’s how we will get there. It’s the traveling companion that we never leave home without.
When I did a quick Google search for the accurate definition, this is what I found: The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a U.S.-owned utility that provides users with positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services. This system consists of three segments: the space segment, the control segment, and the user segment.
Well, now … that yielded a little bit more than I expected. And to be honest, the simplest of explanations was even more than what I choose to share here. So, let’s just say it’s somewhat complicated but it’s trustworthy because all the smart people have done all the work to assure that it works for everyone who chooses to use it.
I’m the type that will want to know all the details of how to get from point A to point B. It’s so ingrained within me to not want to be a late arrival. And it all begins the night before. I look up the address of my goal and download the exact directions, determine that I will need to pad my time to give way for traffic interruptions, parking, etc. Then when I’m ready to leave the driveway, I turn on my GPS and allow for her to “speak” those directions to me as I drive along.
Funny thing, as much as we trust the inerrancy of this artificial intelligence, she’s not always right. I see you nodding … you’ve experienced it, too, haven’t you? GPS doesn’t always have the current detours and re-routes in her data base and we’ve fallen victim to those faux pas. And please, someone raise your hand — we’ve arrived late (very late) to events as a result.
The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9 NASB
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding.
6 Acknowledge him in all your ways,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own estimation;
fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7 NET
So, all this energy and preparation for traveling … do we even think to put some of that towards the journey we walk with the Lord? Seriously now, eternity runs longer than this earthly adventure. I have to admit that it took me some years to fully wrap my tiny brain around that fact and how I spend my efforts and time — because ultimately, that’s where the bulk of the frustration will erupt from when things fall apart.
God is always present. He may choose to be silent in the moment. He may choose to rumble the ground beneath your feet. He may blow softly through the trees around you. He may seal shut the door you have been banging on. He may orchestrate the details of His Plan to fall into place like a symphony. He may allow for us to grow by trusting Him while we navigate through the foggy mist. He may cause us to wait longer than we had hoped for. He may bring an instantaneous chain of events.
But let me just take a moment to whisper something of vital importance: Maturity will take you to a place where you can pause along that journey and reflect and give thanks, no matter what the current climate may be.
Contentment is not a concept that any small child possesses. And if you’re in doubt, ask any mom with a toddler in tote — and if you’re really ambitious, check out the moms with two or three littles under the age of 3; they’ll deliver an earful. Better yet, make her happy and offer to babysit her littles for a weekend to give her a break. Then you’ll understand what the Apostle Paul was trying to say to us adults. Truthfully, we are no different — but we can learn how to shift our desires so that contentment is found in Jesus rather than our appetites (material possessions, desire for recognition, etc.).
Friend, being able to ‘sit still’ doesn’t happen overnight. Nor does it suddenly become your ‘habit’ in your first thirty-days of rebirth. There’s this growing up — just as we did when we were children — we took small steps of learning concepts and information and material. It’s progressive. The key: studying your Bible.
GOD is not trying to make anything difficult for us. But just as we set out to arrive at point B, there are directions to help us get there with less mishap (and misstep) and experience some joy while we’re at it.
And maybe what GPS stands for in the life of the Believer is: GOD’s Protection System. If I allow for Him to navigate for me, I won’t have the tendency to veer off the road into a ditch of remorse, regret or resentment. He will protect me — from myself, from harm by others, from separation from Him. But sister, I know that’s easier said than done.
In hindsight, it’s always a sigh of relief with minor bruising (from refusing to stay the course). We don’t always arrive unscathed. But we do arrive with Him — in His Timing — by His Grace. The less kicking and screaming that’s coming out of me, the more opportunity I have to experience the beauty of things happening right in front of me — in real time.
If I can borrow from the technicality of the GPS in the scientific world and put on a spiritual lens:
The space segment is Jesus Who walks with me (navigating my travels) and launches me for His Purpose.
The control segment is the Holy Spirit by Whom I am led and taught the information that I receive from studying and praying.
The user segment is lil’ ol’ me. This human being, having been chosen to be a light in a dark corner, given the blessing to experience GOD in real time in a myriad of ways.
GOD the Father holds it all in His Hand.
I’ve got the scars that remind me of the times that things didn’t go as well as I had hoped. But these reminders turn me to my Savior in deepest gratitude for having redeemed and rescued me from a fate worse than the few scars I carry with me. He never left me to fend for myself — His Wing always covered and carried me. He not once walked away in frustration or utter disgust when I insisted on this or that — His Forgiveness and Patience seemed to outweigh and outlast my cries for help (especially when I didn’t realize I needed it). He promises to bring good out of every situation — and He’s good on His Promises — He’s the only Trustworthy One that never misses a beat.
It’s hard to convince a child or young teen — come to think of it, it’s hard for most of us adults as well — that everything our little heart craves is not necessarily good for us.
23-24 Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well. 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 The Message
Trust in the One Who has the Perfect Plan for us — just because we don’t understand it or we can’t see it happening now — doesn’t mean GOD is not working on our behalf. He is always at work. Need proof? Did you have to ask Him to start your heart this morning when you rose out of bed? Did you have to remind Him to keep the blood and oxygen flowing while you were asleep last night? Did you have to pray that the sun and moon would stay in their respective places? Me neither, Friend.
So, I think it’s safe to say that He’s got us in the best place we could ever be for this moment in time.
26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. Romans 8:28 The Message
And He will see us safely to our next destination until He calls us to our Final Stop in Heaven.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary