Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Recalculating


I don’t have a GPS system.  I guess we don’t travel enough to warrant owning one.  I have, however, had the pleasure of being a passenger in the car of people who do own one and have observed firsthand the joys of that melodious voice telling you that it is “Recalculating!” 
My friend’s GPS is named Mona.  I can understand why.  Mona sounds like a dying animal with her moaning voice informing my friend that she has to “recalculate” the route again.   Mona doesn’t hide the annoyance in her accusing tone inferring that my friend is the stupidest person to ever get behind the wheel of a car. 
Inevitably, my friend turns off the voice before she silences Mona for good.  I suspect there are a lot of Monas out there whose owners tune them out or turn them off altogether.  


What did we do before the GPS entered our lives?  I remember using an old-fashioned map.  In fact, I still do use a map when Bill and I realize that we are hopelessly lost.  The map eventually gets us back on course.  


Thinking about maps and GPS systems, got me pondering a question - What if God has a GPS? 


Recently, someone said to me, “You are always just where God wants you to be.”
Isn’t it true?  Aren’t we always where God wants us to be?  I mean, He is in charge of our lives even when we think differently.  Every situation is God ordained even when we cannot fathom why God would allow certain situations to happen.  We cannot see the big picture.  We have a small limited map of our lives.  Yet, God has the master GPS system.  I picture Him up in heaven with His gigantic GPS mapping all of our imperfect paths that we choose to follow.  When we stray off course, God is like that GPS voice that announces, “Recalculating!”  


How often does God “recalculate” our course?  I suspect that it is daily for some of us. I think I’m a daily recalculatee.  If I were truthful, I’d admit that I often tune out or turn off the voice altogether.  I know that it is my strong will that veers me off course.  I’m sure that I have not followed my life’s road map in the way that He would have wanted, but that is the mystery of God.   He never gives up on us.  He never waivers – even when we do.  He always makes a way for us to get back on the path.
So, what is God’s destination?  I believe it is not the destination that matters.  It’s the journey.  In fact, I’d say the journey is the destination.


My journey with God as my GPS began forty-six years ago.  I was eight when I believe that I was visited by the Holy Spirit for the first time in a dream.  There have been three other times when I had dreams that have completely transformed my life – all similar to the dream when I was eight.





As much as an eight-year-old can understand, I knew that the dream was a revelation of sorts.  In my dream, I saw an indescribable light.  I was scared at first, but then felt a peace that, too, was indescribable.  There was a voice that called my name.  The voice seemed to come from beyond the light, yet it was as if it was right beside me as well.  I wanted to join the light, to walk into it.  Then, I felt something holding me back.   


I listened to the voice calling to me and I spoke to it.  I told the voice that I knew there was something I had to do before I could join the light.  The voice stopped calling my name and the light started to fade.  I turned from the light and began walking down a tunnel feeling both sad and empowered.  When I woke up, I knew that I was destined to “do something”.  I just didn’t know what that something was.
For years, I’ve searched my soul asking that question, “What is the ‘something’ I told the voice I had to do?”  I know now that the “something” is the journey; it's walking with God on a daily basis.  To me, the voice and the light represented the Holy Spirit.  Perhaps some might refer to this dream as a visit from an angel.  I absolutely believe that it was God-inspired because I knew at that moment that my destiny was ordained by God.  Have I strayed off course since? Absolutely!   I’ve become better at recognizing my detours but I still take them regularly.  

The other day I was sitting in church and the pastor said something that just hit me like a rock.  He was talking about a missionary that wrote in his journal: no reserves, no retreat, no regrets.  It occurred to me that I have lived my life with reserves.  I’ve retreated and I’ve even experienced regrets for the choices I’ve made. 

What if I changed the way I think?  I asked myself as I sat in church.  What if I faced everything with no reserves?  What if I never retreated and never regretted my decisions? 

So, how do I live my life like this?  Well, I believe it means giving up my life completely and putting it in God’s hands with no reserves.  In other words; do whatever it is God has put on my heart without saying, “But…I don’t have the money; I don’t have the time; wait until my daughter graduates; we have to move; my health needs to improve; I have to have knee surgery...”the list of ‘buts’ is endless.  It means doing it now and doing it with conviction and determination.  It means doing it even when the road is tough – especially when the road is tough. 
When I reach my destination I want to know that I didn’t retreat from the bumpy roads, that I overcame the roadblocks and that I followed the map to the best of my ability.  I don’t want to regret the steps I took and I know that I can only do that by walking daily with God’s GPS system as the guide – and especially taking the time to listen when the voice says, “recalculating”.