My wife says I’m a little bit of a control freak. I don’t know, maybe she’s right. For years I’ve refused to spend any money on a GPS unit. At first I relied on maps—lots of maps. I had a U.S. atlas, several state atlases, and lots of city maps too. Then I got an iPhone. After that, I’d cut you off as you were giving me turn-by-turn instructions to your place and say, “Just give me your address, I’ve got an iPhone.” The statement “I’ve got an iPhone”, meant “I can find your house no matter how complicated the directions might be.” Smug and self-important, I loved having every turn open to my view, and being able to see that blue line covering the streets I should take. And if I felt like it, I would verge off of the outlined path, because I could see when the iPhone’s plan didn’t make sense. I was in charge of my own destiny, the controller of my own path. I had an iPhone.When I moved my family to Washington, a state I had never driven in before. I was confident, because I had an iPhone. Returning home from a trip, I was talking on my cell phone, when somewhere between Spokane and Walla Walla I missed my exit. Oblivious to the fact, I continued for 30 minutes in the opposite direction from home. I was comfortable because I knew I had my iPhone and since I knew the whole course I thought could ignore the map for a while. But, being new to the area, I really didn’t know the whole way home. When I finally decided to check my iPhone map I was astonished to discovered I had taken an extra hour detour! Today, I own a GPS.
My GPS doesn’t show me the whole route, and give me a list of all the roads I should take—it only shows me the next turn. Sometimes that frustrates me, and I wonder if it really knows what I should be doing. Shortly after I got my GPS I tested it out on a route I had taken several times before. I was confident that I knew the fastest way, so when my GPS said, “Turn right on C St”, I didn’t agree with it. I had never turned right on C street before. What could possibly be faster about C street? So, I ignored it. Amazingly, it saw my ignorance, adjusted to my behavior, and changed the suggested route. Did it change my destination? No, it just realized that my behavior would not allow for the first ideal route, and would require a recalibration. Sometimes I hear the GPS unit say, “Take the first legal U-turn”. The direction I'm headed and my destination are in the total opposite direction, and there is no recalibration that can fix it. The only thing I can do is to turn back to the path my GPS had first indicated.
Our walk with God is something like a GPS. God promises that his word will be a “Lamp to our feet.” (Psalms 119:105) Does God lay out our whole lives in front of us, showing us every turn and every road like an iPhone? No, He only shows us the next step we need to take.
When we plug into God and say “Go Home,” He points us to Heaven and tells us just what to do next. “No!” we say, “I think this way is faster”. Lovely, patiently, God recalibrates our course. Then, we hear that voice in the background of our life saying, “in 1.1 miles, take exit 23 on the right.” If we refuse to take exit 23 we hear, “in .9 miles take exit 27 on the right.” God continues to recalibrate our path until finally we either decide to trust God and obey Him or turn Him off entirely.
Maybe you’re a control freak like me. You like to see the whole map, plan your own route, and do your own thing. You know what’s best for your life. But do you really? God is trustworthy. He sees the big picture in a way that you can’t. His suggestions and commands are the best thing for you, even if you would prefer a different route. God’s way is the easiest, fastest, and most rewarding. All you have to do is follow His Word and take the next turn He tells you about.
Read Patriarchs and Prophets pages 245 - 256 for a look at Moses and how he changed from trusting in his own path to totally trusting in God’s direction.
Written by Jason Worf