This is the second part of the getting lost story. The following Friday night I had to drive to a nearby town for an Emmaus Community Gathering. I had been to this church several times; the only problem was I had always gone with someone. I had never driven or been by myself. Once again I thought how hard could this be.
Now when it comes to following my GPS or OnStar I have a tendency to turn one turn too early. I can’t measure distance so I usually turn before I am supposed to because I don’t want to miss my turn. On the way over I did this exact thing again. I drove while it recalculated my directions. We made it there just fine after a couple of extra turns. I was feeling pretty good.
I got in the car and decided to use one of my navigation apps to get me home instead of bothering OnStar. I have several navigation apps. This time I decided to use Waze. Now the other problem I have is I get turned around really easy. So I have Waze up and I am following it when I think to myself we are headed in the wrong direction. This just doesn’t look right. So while stopped I pull up my second GPS app. I decide Waze is moving me in the wrong direction. Surely I know more than an app right? I mean just because it is late, dark and I am unfamiliar with the area I still think I can find my way back. So now I am following my second app while the first one is still going. The second one has me turning in the direction I think I should be going. I just knew the first one was wrong. Before long though they have me turn and I am headed in the same direction the first one had me going in. Really, can this be right?
By now I am convinced the apps may know more than I do. So I follow the second’s app direction. I end up exactly where the first one had me going. If I had followed the Waze I wouldn’t have had to make the extra turns to get back to where I needed to be. I decided maybe I didn’t know as much as I thought and I should just listen and follow directions. I did get to my familiar road and made it home just fine after following directions from the second app.
Your laughing again aren’t you? So, a few days later thinking about all of this God reminds me I am so predictable when it comes to following directions. How many times have I been given directions by God, but then go and seek out the advice of others? I have a Bible to read from, but then I go and seek out other books that I think will lead me to where I want to go instead of sticking with just the Bible. I seem to use multiple sources when I should only use the one, good, reliable source. You find something useful you should stick with it right?
I have found myself many times seeking God’s direction in my life. There have been many times He has given me directions, but then I decide I know how to get things done quicker or easier and I do them my way just to find out I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.
My husband is an expert at taking short cuts to get where he is going. He never gets turned around. Now he may get lost, but I never know for sure if he is or just seeking out a different way to our destination. I am so not like that. When I try to take shortcuts you can bet it’s not going to turn out well. I might as well follow the directions God has given me the first time instead of trying to find a quicker or shorter way to do what He has called me to do.
When I do things my way instead of following God’s direction I find I use up way more energy and have lost a lot of time. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” [This is] the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”—Isaiah 55:8–9 God’s is much wiser and He is so much more knowledgeable than I ever will be. He can see the whole picture I can only see part of the picture. So why shouldn’t I listen to Him?
The two navigation apps gave me the same basic directions to get me home. There have been times I have gone to one friend and asked about direction for my life. Just like that night I thought they were mixed up and I was convinced they had me going in the wrong direction. I have gone to a second friend just to find out their directions for my advice was the same as the first friend’s. That’s when I have a decision to make. I can follow their advice and go in the direction God is leading me or I can ignore them both and try to make it on my own. Why seek the advice from friends if we aren’t going to listen to them? Just like my GPS if I wasn’t going to follow the directions why have it on?
Years ago before moving to Texas I called upon a Baptist minister ( a good friend) and told her I thought God was leading us to Texas, but I wanted confirmation that is what we were being led to do. I didn’t stop there I went on to another minister friend and told her the same thing. At two different times both of these ministers came and told me they felt God was leading us to Texas. Did I expect different answers from them? Was I hoping for a different answer completely? After receiving two confirmations we had a decision to make. Do we follow where God was leading or do we follow our own will for our lives? We followed where we thought God was leading us.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 God knows the plans He has for us. He will not get us lost or take us down a wrong path. Now if we don’t follow Him we often turn down the wrong path or even get ourselves lost on the journey.
Finally, I turn too quickly and get lost. If I don’t wait on God then usually I end up headed in the wrong direction, get lost and things just don’t turn out right. I am learning to wait upon the Lord. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 If I just wait on God He will give me the strength to get those things done I need to get done. I won’t be wearing myself out going in circles if I just follow His directions the first time. Things will run a lot smoother if I just wait for God’s directions for my life.
I am so grateful for these two learning opportunities. God has taught me a lot in both of these instances. First I must depend on Him to help me find my way when I am lost and second when He gives me directions I need to follow them.
I hope you are much better at following directions and not getting lost. But, if you like me it’s okay. God will always bring us back to Him and He will set us on the right path to victory in Him.
How are you at following the directions God has given you? Do you constantly seek others advice just to find out they confirm what God has been telling you? Do you often find yourself following your own way and just to find out later you’re lost?
Take my advice follow the direction God has for you. It’s okay to seek out others, but don’t keep seeking until you get the answer you think you want. God has plans for us and it’s best if we follow through with Him.
Dear God, thank you for lessons that lead back to you. Thank you for the Bible that gives me clear instructions on how I am to live my life. Mostly, thank you for being there when I make a wrong turn or go down the wrong path. You never leave me you just gently get me back on the path I need to be on. Thank you for those folks who came up with GPS and Navigation apps that help people like me to get where they are going. Remind me it’s always best to follow directions even when I think I am right. Direct my paths God and may I always follow your ways. Amen.