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Sunday, January 23, 2011

God is my GPS

Ahh, the GPS. New-fangled and expensive technology for only the elite just a few years ago, now commonplace in most vehicles and even devices primarily used for other purposes, such as cell phones. It's a wonderful convenience, isn't it? No longer do you have to rely on hand-written directions and crudely sketched "maps" from those who think they know how to get you from point A to point B. You don't even need to have a navigator in the passenger seat to read off the step-by-step turns as directed from a website like maps.com! All you've got to do is tell that little rectangular device where it is you'd like to go (you don't even have to tell it where you are, isn't that amazing?) and in a matter of moments, you're on your way!

Now, GPS devices (whether they're a built-in feature of your vehicle, a stand-alone device attached to your windshield, or an add-on feature of your cellular phone) do have their flaws. Mine is of the stand-alone variety, and it sometimes has trouble finding a signal. Once or twice it has taken me to a dead-end or asked me to turn onto a road that would cause me to go against the flow of traffic. Sometimes it loses its signal and can't figure out where I am, let alone how to get me there. And there's that annoying little "suction cup" which is intended for securing my little GPS to the windshield in a nice easy-to-see-and-access location... which no longer has any sort of "suction" function. Thus I am forced to balance the device on my dashboard or on the passenger seat next to me, hoping I can judge by the verbal cues where exactly the thing would like me to make my next turn.

Why a sudden post about technology? Well, this post actually has little to do with technology, actually. It's more about the path I've found myself on in the recent weeks. You see, I've been spending a lot of time in prayer over my life and my future. I know that God has it all mapped out for me, but, unlike a man-made GPS, I can't take a glance at the turn-by-turn directions before I move forward! I feel like God is nudging me to make a lot of changes, and while I'm thrilled by the potential that I see before me, I'm also terrified of the thought that what *I* think is right could potentially be wrong. Very wrong. And unlike a standard GPS, I also don't get to be the one to plug in my destination. I can, of course, cry out to God about the desires of my heart and what my hopes and dreams are, but I also believe that God is the source of those passions, talents, hopes and dreams... and what He has for me is certainly going to be beyond what I could ever imagine.

Woah. That got pretty deep for a second, didn't it? Still with me? Good!

You've probably seen or at least heard of the bumper sticker slogan, "God is my co-pilot." But to me, that feels like perhaps we're sharing the road... you know, I navigate for a while, He navigates for a while... and that just doesn't sit right with me. Instead, I think a better way to think of it is "God is my GPS." No, the destination is not certain, but there are sure to be a lot of points of interest along the way. When I ignore my God-GPS and make a wrong turn, we may have to take a long detour, but I believe He can guide me back to the right path if I'll just listen. (And He won't make the annoyed-sounding statement, "recalculating!" like my father's GPS does!) We might go through some storms and hit some rough patches, but I know that if I keep listening, and keep trusting, He won't lead me to a dead end. Ever.

Lots to think about as I embark on some new ventures in my life. I hope you'll join me for the ride. It's going to be one heck of a road trip! I'll bring the snacks.

~ Allison

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