Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Are you listening?

Several years ago for my ministry I was doing a lot of travelling in my car.

I recall being in cities and towns from New Hampshire down to North Carolina, and becoming very good at spotting the gas stations and fast food places that were right off the exit so I don’t have to venture too far off the beaten path.

Along with my Dunkin Donuts coffee, bagel with chive cream cheese, pile of folders and my blackberry, there was another very important passenger that was joining me on my journeys. It was none other than my GPS.

I found myself relying heavily on what the GPS had to say, and It had gotten to the point where I would just punch in the address and head out to wherever it told me to go.

I remember thinking "why do I put so much trust in the direction that the GPS says is the right direction? What if what it says to do is the wrong way, or not the best way? How do I know that what it says won’t lead me to some abandoned warehouse in a rough part of town?"

You know, I don’t really know the answers to those questions, I just input data and based on that data, the GPS relays to me what it thinks is the best way to get there.

Even though the GPS has a lot of power and influence over my decision making process as I travel, the reality is that it’s just sitting in my glove compartment doing nothing until I tell it what to do, then based on how I feel or some other scenario I choose whether or not I’m going to take its advice.

If I go against what it suggests, it’s the GPS's job to recalculate and re-calibrate to fit my liking…that’s just how I roll!

As I was stuck in traffic one day a few blocks from the Capitol Building in Washington DC, it hit me. Many times I treat my relationship with God like I treat my relationship with my GPS. I trust what it says, but only after I input my thoughts and insights.

That’s not only “not cool”, that is downright scary!

I mean, who am I to tell God anything? Who am I to give input to the Creator of all things? Who am I that He would love me, care for me, provide for me, and have a plan for me?

You know, as I was sitting in traffic in the shadow of one of the greatest symbols of human freedom in the world. I thought “no wonder my life gets confusing sometimes, no wonder our world doesn’t make sense, and no wonder many times the very leaders we look to for guidance inhabiting the halls of the Capitol building don’t have a clue.”

It’s as if we’re operating our lives and decisions like we operate our GPS. We input and based on how we feel we choose to follow or not…it’s up to us!

I don’t know about you but as I sat there and thought about the many subtle ways that I “thank God for His suggestion” and go on my own merry way, I began to get it that it’s not up to me the pick and choose. It’s up to me to be plugged in to Him and obey His directions, because He knows what’s best for me.

The direction He lays out may not be the smoothest, widest, highest legal speed limit, toll free super highway in the world, but I’m learning that if I trust His route He’ll take care of the rest.

As I think back on the last several years of my journey, I can clearly see the times when I took His input and chose otherwise, and I can also clearly see the times when I rode full speed ahead with Him at the wheel.

The times when I thought I had the best route picked out almost always ended in disaster, and even though sometimes it seemed like the road He wanted me to follow didn’t make sense and didn’t show up on my map, those were the times when I could clearly see that I was right where God wanted me.

As many of you know these past few years in my life have seemed like a combination of both of those scenarios at times, but now that I am beginning to get down the road a little further, I’m beginning to see why He had me take the route that He did.

He’s teaching me that I don’t have to have it all figured out, I need to trust Him that His direction for my life is perfect.

I didn’t say it would be the easiest way, but I’m learning that it truly is the best way.

The Christian journey is hard, bumpy, rocky and filled with pot holes, but I’m so glad that we have a Savior who knows the way, and is the Way.

Is He leading your way? Are you listening?

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