Sunday, February 1, 2015

God's GPS

Years ago, when my boys were quite young, we had moved to a new city and I was trying to find my way around.  At one point my oldest (about 5 years old) suggested we may be having a hard time finding where we were going and, in my most confident voice I said, "no sweat"!  That was followed by the same child saying "Mom, every time you say "no sweat", we are lost!" Well, we were never truly lost but....he was accurate in discerning that his mom didn't know exactly the best way home.  That, of course was before the GPS had made its way into our cars.

I have had a travel club membership for many years and I can remember when (during my single years particularly) I would be planning a trip and request a "trip tic".  I loved that multi paged booklet that guided me and helped me get to an important travel destination without getting lost.  It gave me more confidence on the road; it contained useful information about highway construction road conditions etc.

And then (drumroll here!) the GPS burst onto the scene! What an amazing device that dramatically enhanced the travel experience!  I remember Charlie and I experimenting with all the different voices...did we want "Tina"? (the name we gave to one of the pretend people...almost like having a woman hiding somewhere in our car!)....or maybe we wanted the one with the British accent?  When our daughter-in-law came to visit us she had a great time "playing" with the GPS and its settings; we turned it on later after she had been experimenting with it, and discovered our next trip was going to take days!!!  (It was still on the "hike/walk" setting!)  We had such a good laugh!

Traveling in and around unknown cities became much less intimidating and more of an adventure than past trips.  It took much of the guesswork out of looking ahead for a place to stay overnight.  We could pick a restaurant or find a shopping outlet and actually schedule and plan our time better.  And we were much less likely to inadvertently find ourselves in a threatening area of town.  It created more of a safety net.

I believe this is a wonderful picture of "God's GPS"; we know it as "His Word", the "Bible", the "Holy Scriptures", "His story" (both Old and New Testaments).  The letters, "GPS", stand for "Global Positioning System".  Isn't that exactly what the Bible is about?  What could be more "global" and all-encompassing than the Word of God?  What could be more "systematic" than the scriptures?  What could be a better source of instruction, teaching us how to "position" ourselves in all areas of life than the very words of God?

Last year I finished a totally comprehensive, book by book study of the Bible, beginning in Genesis and ending (3 years later) with the book of Revelation. 

"The Bible is compiled into 66 books, written over a period of 1600 years by more than forty authors living on three continents. Although the authors came from different backgrounds there is one message, one theme, one thread, that runs throughout the entire Bible from the first book Genesis, to the last book, Revelation.  That message is God's redeeming love for mankind - a message that is as relevant for us today as it was two thousand years ago." (quote by the writers of "The Amazing Collection".)
Old Testament stories gave life to New Testament teachings; God's grace and justice was demonstrated consistently no matter which book I was currently reading. God's overarching story of man was driven home as I dug into those pages and asked the Holy Spirit to teach and guide me.

The more I use "God's GPS", the safer I feel.  I am less likely to wander off into unsafe territory; I have more confidence in navigating life's highways; I can even look ahead and know, with certainty, that I will arrive at that "place" Jesus prepared for me at the end of life's journey.  (John 14: 2-4)  I can live adventurously as long as I follow His map/GPS when the road winds or narrows or I run into something unexpected.  God's voice, through the Bible, gives me all the direction I need.

When we set out on the road, we have to actually make the decision to bring the GPS, turn it on and use it.  It wouldn't do us much good if we left it in the box it came in and never plugged it in.  In the same way, the Bible does us no good if it sits on the shelf and never gets read.  The more we read, learn and apply God's Word, the better chance we have of reaching our destination AND enjoying the sights along the way.

So I invite you to travel with me on this extraordinary life journey using God's map/GPS, so that we might find THE WAY to the MOST wonderful destination, while relishing every moment.

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