Your GPS is a Lamp to My Feet
By Peter Lundell
Driving at night from Interstate 5 through the coastal mountains to San Jose. The GPS says go this way.
Really? But we need to go to the 101.
Road signs say go this way, then that way, then the other way.
Double lanes narrow to single. What's going on? Isn't this supposed to be a big road? We're going to the technology capitol of the world.
The road curves and turns. "Pete, this can't be right."
"Turn around." Wife is not happy.
But the GPS seems happy.
I consider tossing it on the road and running it over.
No lights anywhere but for other cars. Shuttered fruit stands the only structures in the dark.
How did this happen? Can't trust a GPS. Maybe a glitch and it thinks the address is in another town. I should turn the dumb thing off.
"I'll pull over and check the map." But there's no place to pull over. Anywhere. Only headlights riding my bumper. I say a bad word and keep driving.
She calls ahead. They have no idea. Not good.
Let's try anyway. What a dumb idea. But we can't get much more lost.
Then a freeway sign and an on-ramp. Huh? We're on the 101. How did that happen?
Soon the GPS says, "Arriving at address . . ." And we're in front of the house.
Returning the next day, the same dark windy road becomes a picturesque tour through hills and fruit fields. What a lovely drive along sycamore trees, strawberry fields, and cheerful fruit stands.
And I think how often I've done this in life, and so have you. We encounter uncharted directions and field untested challenges. God's GPS, a.k.a. the Bible, directs us but we don't trust it. Our situation is different. God doesn't understand. Or maybe he doesn't care. So we're on our own in the dark.
The road signs seem to contradict what God's GPS tells us. Our common sense contradicts it as well. And we think we know better, but we're lost. Or maybe we're not lost but we feel lost.
We think we're wandering in a hostile wilderness. Until we find that we're not. That we're in God's hands. And we arrive well.
When we look back or revisit the situation, it seems fine. Because we know how it works out. Faith is easy the day after. But then it's not really faith, it's only reflection.
The Bible says, "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). We can't see much in the darkness of life's confusions or pain. And we can't see around the corners of our future. We trust or we stumble. Faith—being sure of God's GPS— happens while it's still dark and the road still twists. Blessed are we when we trust in his word against all contradictions.
Following God's GPS goes like this:
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. I have suffered much; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word (Psalm 119:105–7).
Lord, too often I have not trusted you. Forgive me. I choose here and now to trust you the next time my life's path gets twisted or dark. Your Word is my map, and I travel in your hands.
Copyright © 2013 Peter Lundell, used by permission.
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With a pastor’s heart, Peter Lundell connects people and their life issues to a real God so they can live well in the face of eternal realities. With a quarter century of missionary, pastoral, and teaching experience, he brings new perspectives to interacting with God that most people overlook. He holds an M.Div. and D.Miss. from Fuller Theological Seminary and resides in Southern California. He authors books on Christian spirituality. Visit him at www.PeterLundell.com.
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