It all began with a few simple needs that could be easily taken care of at a Walmart. It would be a quick errand, I thought. The only (small) problem? I didn’t know where Walmart was in this unfamiliar city.
But that’s what GPS is for.
“Take me to Walmart,” I said to my phone as I contemplated the less-than-exciting but unavoidable prospect of backing an awkwardly long truck out on a blind curve. “Okay, go now—FAST!” my husband shouted from the curb. I stepped on the gas and watched his eyes get big as I came to a halt on the other side, mere inches from a signpost. “After 50 feet take a left turn onto 8th Street,” the confident feminine voice instructed. Still rattled from the close call with street signage, I sailed right past, missing my very first turn.
“In half a mile, take a right onto Center Street,” the voice calmly redirected. At the intersection of Center Street, I found myself facing a road under massive construction. I didn’t really want to go down there, so I picked a different road, hopeful that the voice would redirect me around the construction area. No such luck.
“In one quarter of a mile, take a U-turn at the stoplight,” the voice instructed, not to be dissuaded. I got to the stoplight, where two things became clear. 1) This big awkward truck was not going to be making this U-turn, and 2) getting to Walmart in an unfamiliar city was going to be a lot more complicated than I’d ever imagined.But we eventually got there, that big truck and I, surprisingly all in one piece. We went around the block to get back on track instead of making the U-turn. We survived the road construction. The voice from my phone carried me through, calm and unruffled through all my missed turns and second-guesses.
“Destination reached,” it informed me cheerfully as I pulled into the big store’s parking lot. So, it really had known where it was going. Well, that was a relief! Now was the time to admit that I would have gotten there a lot faster if I’d paid closer attention and trusted it more implicitly—but what can I say? I may be a millennial, but I’m still a little distrustful of allowing a robot to tell me what to do.
Sometimes, the right way to go in life is a little like that, too. You know, not quite as direct and smooth as we’d like? And sometimes, even if you’re asking the right One for directions, it’s easy to mistrust and question whether He really knows where He’s taking you. Sometimes we even go so far as to strike out on our own, hoping He’ll change his mind to suit our preferences
But if we know God and His Word, we also know that, unlike a GPS system, He doesn’t fail or make mistakes. Our human feelings and inclinations may tempt us to question, and even lure us off track, but His ways are perfect and He remains faithful.
And loving. Loving enough to patiently, persistently reroute us in the right direction after every foible. Loving enough to stay with us every step of the way, right through the missed turns, road construction, and awkward U-turns.
It’s the ultimate GPS system, really: God’s Positioning Service
“If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13)
“He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” (Psalm 23:3-4)
(P.S. Photos not taken while looking for Walmart.)