Monday, July 27, 2015

Using GPS

Since moving here, I have become more and more thankful for an innovation known as "GPS."  I have some form of this in my phone.  I downloaded it last year and learned how to "start navigation" just in time to be lost on the way home from a book store in a strange city.

Now I use it almost all the time.  I use it and I follow the directions slavishly.  I put in the address where I am going, and I put in my address again when I am on the way home.  That voice has to know more than I do, doesn't it?  Because I don't know anything about the area where I have moved.  I have a map, it is true, and I have even stared at the map, on occasion, but it is by driving around and listening to the voice saying, "in 1,000 feet", turn left, that I have begun to get my bearings.

Not that there haven't been some rough spots.  The GPS knows much more than I do, it is true.  But it doesn't know when a road is under construction.  On the rare occasion we have had to disobey instructions because, well, the road GPS was telling me to take was CLOSED.  I thought the voice sounded rather insistent and perturbed then ("take a U turn"  "get back on that road!") before giving up and re-routing us.  And a couple of times I have been traveling a route that I have sort of gotten to know when the GPS will give me an unexpected direction.

Once it (she?) told me to get off the freeway several exits before I usually do.  Another time she instructed me to turn right instead of left.

This created a trust dilemma.  Should I obey?  Should I take a different road?  Or should I disobey and go the way I have been accustomed to traveling?

So far I have been too timid to obey.  I have stuck to the route I know.  Last night, I did take a very short GPS-inspired detour, it's true, but it wasn't much of a risk, at that point.

Too timid to obey.  It's one thing to admit that I do not entirely trust the mysterious voice of the woman who gives me directions from my phone.  It is another thing to admit that I do not entirely trust the mysterious voice of God, that this trust is a work-in-progress, that I would rather stay on the tried and true route even when part of me senses that God might be calling me to choose an unknown pathway.

Too timid to obey.  That is where I am, a lot of the time.  It is a failure to trust.

It occurs to me that there are many ways to speak of 'sin' in our world, and a lot of them have to do with morality.  A lot of them come down to behaviors:  the things you do, the things you don't do.   But what if at its very core, a definition of sin is:  a failure of trust.  Then we're all in it, a work in progress, trusting in one moment and not trusting the next.

Too timid to take another road home.  Too timid to say something I have never said before, even though I suspect that God wants me to say it.  Too timid to jump, when God says, "I'll catch you."

One of these days I will turn at an unexpected intersection, just to see where it leads.  And I will trust that the mysterious Voice, though perhaps alarmed at first, will still show me the way home.

1 comment:

LoieJ said...

I can relate to using the GPS in a new location, as I've been doing that for the last 7 months, but using it less and less all the time. But why does it route me one way 7 times in a row, but a different way the next time? Or route me through town instead of on the freeway, even though I have it set up for highways? I haven't thought if it as in a metaphor for trusting God. But my friend tells me I argue with it too much. But that's because sometimes I KNOW BETTER. LOL. HA.