I am a self-admitted “planner.” I like to know where I’m going, literally, figuratively, and spiritually. When I don’t understand the course ahead, I feel the tension of the limbo state, or as I call it, the Great Unknown. As one who likes to see where she’s going, I realize that some would castigate my desire with the label “Control Freak!” I don’t personally recognize this trait in my everyday life, but regardless, I will accept the label in stride and realize there are consequences. What I do know, as one who yearns for God’s way, I must relinquish my desires to His. He knows best, not me, and in this, I am certain.
I take great comfort from the often quoted Scripture in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future,” (NIV). So, aha! My heart leaps with joy. God has plans too, and they are good plans for me. Why would I insist on doing my own thing when the God of the Universe wants to show me His way? His wisdom is superior, so shouldn’t I look, listen, and walk in it? Sounds like an unbeatable plan, right?
However, on a long road trip recently, I was reminded of how easily I can be redirected. The “voices” that call to us, distract us, and deter us are everywhere. So many daily distractions, even the normal life routines, can carry us off course to prevent us from obtaining our God-inspired purpose. I was driving and listening to our GPS for directions to our destination. My husband was sitting behind me in the backseat, keeping our pets content.
Here’s how it went. “Siri,” our voice on the GPS, kept issuing orders to me: “Take a left at the next ….” My husband, with a calm, but authoritative tone, said, “Ignore her, and keep going straight ahead.” It happened three times just like that.
As I drove along, trying to ignore the GPS and trust in my husband’s judgment, I thought how similar this is to our spiritual journey. The Lord has good plans, straight ahead, but something makes me turn from that course. Distractions come at me daily, and some are very winsome and attractive.
Where the GPS wanted me to go, I don’t know, nor probably ever will. She was so insistent. I paid attention to the clear directions from the voice behind me. I had reason to trust the man saying, “Stay the course.” I know his character. I know from experience how much better his internal navigation is than my own. (I can get turned around in a heartbeat.) We had no problems when I followed his directions, and we soon arrived safely at our planned destination.
If this metaphorical analysis works for you as it did me, perhaps we can become better “followers” and learn to stay on task. When I come face to face with my Lord in Heaven, I want Him to know I tried to follow as the Psalmist writes: “My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled,” (Psalm 17:5, NIV). I know I will not do this perfectly, but He also knows I am mortal. Grace, mercy, and forgiveness are mine in salvation through Christ.