Thursday, July 24, 2008
Yesterday, I learned an important lesson. Two, actually. Before leaving home yesterday to head to my friend's house, I put her address into the navigation system (we call her "Violet") in the minivan. I told Jessica right before leaving that I didn't need directions...I would just follow the car's directions. It's nearly impossible to get lost in my new car. You know where this is headed, don't you? About 20 minutes into our little excursion, Violet told me to head north on the freeway. For some reason, I had my mind set on heading south. Occasionally, Violet will take us on a different path than the one I originally planned that will still end up in the same place, so I thought maybe that's what was happening. I thought I would go the way I knew was right, she'd recalculate the route, and we'd be on track again. Not quite. For the next few miles, I kept hearing things like, "take the next left," or "make the next possible u-turn." Like I said, I was convinced that I was right, and she was wrong, so we kept going. After several more miles and much more urging by Violet to turn around, it finally hit me. I was supposed to be going north. Oops. It took me a few more miles to find a place to turn around, and then I had to get back on the freeway, heading in the right direction. After traveling many needless miles and wasting precious time I could have been with my friend, I was finally going the right way. It was then that I realized that this wasn't the first time I had ignored a loud, clear voice that was trying to lead me in the right direction. I thought of how many times I've prayed for direction, guidance, and answers, but then taken things into my own hands anyway. I'll present a situation to God, specifically ask for His help, then ignore Him when He tries to tell me which way to go. I head off in my own direction, convinced that I know the way. The whole time, He's calling out to me, "TURN LEFT! MAKE THE NEXT POSSIBLE U-TURN!" But I keep going. Until I've gotten so far off track. It's then that I usually quiet down just enough to hear Him. And then I realize. Oops. I wasn't supposed to go this way. I've just wasted so much time, so much energy, and I've gotten myself into an even bigger mess. Luckily, neither Violet, not God will give up on me. No matter how stubborn I am, or how far from the calculated route I might stray. There's always a way back on the freeway. But, it might cost us something. Time. Pride. Heartache. So, please learn from my mistakes. Don't ignore your navigation system, especially when you are as directionally-challenged as I am. More importantly, don't ignore God.