Sunday, February 28, 2010

Making God your Garmin

"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading." Lao Tzu

I'm not a Taoist, so don't misunderstand the above quote as a declaration of belief. It just brought some clarity.

Before Garmin or TomTom, there was Mapquest. Before that, navigation usually took the form of almost indecipherable words written down on a crumpled piece of paper half eaten by time that you found in the back seat of your car. And even farther back than that...think a wagon on The Oregon Trail with your kid almost dying from Typhoid...navigation came mostly from memory in the form of the recognition of signs along the way.

More often than not, I'm not sure I'm even lost until well off the beaten track. It's when I see nothing of landmarks of reassurance. On this roadway, path, highway (whatever you wanna call it) of life, we too often miss the signs along the way when we are heading in the wrong direction. Why??

Personally, I see a few reasons.
1. Denial. Denial that you could ever be wrong or lost.
2. Pride. Pride in your own ability to get somewhere without any help along the way.
3. Distraction. Distracted by the noise around you, that of differing opinions and advice.
4. Stubbornness. The hesitance to change course.

The last one is most convicting in my life, because I do it ALL the time. I think to myself, "If I just go a little further, just a little bit further, maybe THIS course will just turn into the right one", even though my gut always tells me otherwise. The signs are clear, but I choose to ignore them.

Today as I write this, I'm in the aftermath of a course change. And, let me tell you, I'm taking everything into consideration now. I'm looking at the path I was headed down and recognizing the utter ridiculousness of it. I feel like I can see the signs clearer now thanks to the experience of the road most taken.

Without going into details about what spawned this course change, I will just say that it took an immense amount of letting go to take the initiative to turn that wheel. The two hardest parts of changing course are the letting go and the not looking back. The last is probably the harder of the two.

Change is never easy, but being comfortable is not a call on our lives as believers. We were meant to struggle and persevere and come out on the other side changed for the better...sanctification. By warring against the change, I was blockading sanctification. In this particular instance, God turned the wheel for me, but I'm praying that in the future, when He asks me to drive a different direction, I'll be obedient enough to turn around the first time He asks.