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    Soul Rythem

    Following directions from my GPS

    Since purchasing a GPS several months ago, I have travelled  alone near and far with a comfort that I had not experienced before. Ask my closest friend here and she will gleefully tell you that I can get lost easily after crossing the boundaries between D.C. and Maryland.  And if you didn’t want to see me for a several hours send me to anywhere in neighboring Virginia. That place confuses me when I drive there.

     I am directionally challenged. Always have been.  One time about two years ago, I started out to a baby shower with printed instructions to a home “way out in Maryland” as I described it and any other place five miles outside of my driving comfort zone.  The home was about an hour from where I lived. I reached the proximity of the home but ended up driving around another 45 minutes looking for it. After calling the host, it still took me another half-hour to reach the baby shower. By the time I got there, lots of people were still there but I was so flustered I didn’t even get out of the car. I turned around and went home.

    My GPS wouldn’t do that to me. I know it’s not infallible but since I’ve had it, it was gotten me where I’ve wanted to go even when I didn’t have the right address or when I have made a wrong turn somewhere along the way. This week I put my GPS to the test on separate occasions when I met two pastors for lunch in two newly developed areas in Maryland. In one instance, the pastor texted to me an exact address for a restaurant but when I tried to type it into my GPS the street name never came up. Neither did the name of the new town where it was located. I had just left another meeting and sat in a gas station parking lot for several minutes trying various ways to get the directions on my GPS.

    Finally, I typed in the name of the major intersection where the restaurant was located and drove off. I arrived to find the restaurant and a new shopping area and the promise of more to come. Fortunately, I had just enough knowledge of the area to which I was traveling to be able to tell my navigation device what it needed to know to get me where I needed to go. You cannot do that with directions on a piece of paper.

    My little GPS, or Global Positioning System, has been taking me into unfamiliar territory all week. And so has God. The GPS in my car helped me get to the meetings I had this week those pastors, but it was God who guided me through them. I was talking with the pastor on Monday who had texted me the directions and jokingly said something about our meeting was a result of God’s Positioning System. I know, without a doubt, that without God’s leading in my life right now I would be lost and directionless.

    As I have driven around this week, crossing state lines and going into places and situations I have never been in before, I have noticed also the spiritual side of such sojourns and have been grateful for God’s protection and positioning over my life.  During this Lenten season, I am especially aware of the role fasting and praying is having in keeping me attuned to God’s guidance.

    Here are some of the similarities that I have thought about for both my GPSs. They both:

    • Talk to me.  Hearing the turn- by- turn instructions on the GPS is a lot easier than trying to read and remember the next exit or turn while driving.  God is always speaking, A.W. Tozer wrote in his book “Pursuit of God.” I get the chance to hear God speak when I listen as I pray.  I hear Him when I read the Scriptures, hear a sermon, enjoy a song, sit in silence or stroll though a park.


    • Help me avoid obstacles up ahead. After plugging in my route, my GPS shows me the fastest and shortest routes and how much time and distance it would take using mostly freeways or going down city streets.  It will also let me know where there might be traffic tie ups or road work and provide alternate routes. The Lord is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. Trusting in Him and following His word keeps us from falling into every pitfall the world offers. Our faith in the living God also lets us know that there is no obstacle too big, or too high, or too wide that we cannot overcome with Him on our side.  


    • Tell me when I need to make a u-turn. Yesterday I missed my turn on a road, immediately my GPS directed me to travel several feet into a subdivision and make a left turn at the next opening. It led me to the main road and back to the turn on the right that I needed to make.  God has done the same thing for me as well. When I have done some things or said some words I should not have said, God through the working of the Holy Spirit has stopped me and shown me my error, corrected me and led me back on the true path.


    • Use my limited knowledge to take me closer to my destination. In my meeting with a second pastor on Wednesday, I also knew just enough about where I was going in Annapolis to type an address that I knew would get me close enough to where I needed to be. That worked beautifully.  So it is with God and me. Time and time again, God has taken the little bit I can recall of a Scripture and used it to minister to me so that I can help someone else. He has taken my muster seed of faith and moved me from being stuck to a place of growth and grace.


    With God guiding me, I am never lost (even when it feels that way). His direction is the surest route; His instructions lead to clarity; His correction is the most loving; His positioning the most secure.  My prayer today is “Guide me O Great Jehovah. Lord where you lead, I will follow.” Amen.

    Whose directions are you following today?

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