Friday, June 26, 2015
Guest Blog: "God's GPS"
I’m very disappointed in my GPS lately. It doesn’t have the name-voice combination I want (Samantha-British… not Samantha-American). It lies (it tells me that the shortest distance between two points is way “X” when I know perfectly well that way “Y” is shorter). It tells me that the best way to get from the New Jersey turnpike to Brooklyn is by taking the Holland Tunnel (“driving through Manhattan is on my bucket list!”, said NO ONE ever). It tells me that the next rest area is 70 miles up the road, making me miss the one that’s 2 miles away at the next exit. And it most recently enjoys putting my life in danger.
On May 16th of this year, on our way back from a week in New York, Michelle and I decided to stop in Baltimore and visit their zoo, which we’d been told had a brand new and rather spectacular penguin habitat. Because penguins are my favorite creature, followed closely by cats, lemurs, giraffes, hippos, dogs, horses, meerkats, tree kangaroos and nearly every other creature in the class Mammalia, this was a must see.
We started out from the hotel and followed Samantha’s instructions and wound up driving through just about the worst area I have ever been in. On one street corner it was amazing to see that someone was actually living in a structure (term used loosely). After coming to a stop at another, Michelle asked me if I’d seen the man in handcuffs being led up the stairs of an apartment. I looked in my rear-view mirror and decided that running a stop sign might be argued in court as ‘justifiable’. And there were dealers on *nearly* every corner. Not car dealers.
This area the GPS was taking us through was NOT safe by any stretch of the imagination and back at the hotel, I googled “locations of Baltimore riots”. As I studied the map and placed remembered street names, stores and parks with what I was seeing on the computer, I turned to Michelle and said, “Do you remember that intersection that had this, that and the other?” After receiving confirmation I said, “Yeah, well… A couple of weeks ago there may have been a big fight there? Maybe a burnt out drugstore at the next one up?” Yes. That one.
The next morning, on our way out of town, I asked her if she wanted to drive by Edgar Allan Poe’s house. She asked where it was and I said, “Good question.” So I asked Samantha. When I saw the route… we declined and decided that driving on the Capitol Beltway in DC was more to our liking… where we promptly got stuck and sat for three hours.
It’s easy to think of God as our GPS. It’s also easy to wonder why He seems to lead us where we really don’t want to go, and had we known how he was going to get us there, we never would have chosen that route and tried to press the “find alternate route” button. And when we *do* get to where we’re going, why is it that the end-destination sometimes just doesn’t seem to be worth the trouble it took to get there? Don’t get me wrong; the penguin habitat was amazing – the rest of the zoo… meh.
For everything there is a reason. Perhaps it’s simply that taking the route we consider to be a “bad” one, is the shortest distance between two points. God gets us where He wants us faster, because He needs us there on His time… not ours. And while maybe we think a route is shorter… He knows it’s not. Perhaps it’s that there are things along that route that He wants us to slow down and see and absorb, as much as we want to speed up, run some stop signs (and some red lights), so that we can be changed in Him. Sometimes when we have inclination to go one place and He wants us to go elsewhere, when we change our direction, He lets us know we shouldn’t have. And just maybe He even gets us “lost” every now and then so that we can find the way back home by whatever means necessary; pressing “find alternate route”, phoning a friend, or consulting a different map, or just driving until you come to something familiar, are all ways to rely on Him.
Heather Eddy is the Assistant Director of Christian Education here at Sardis. When she is not working with the Sardis children’s programs or assisting the Fellowship Committee, she spends time teaching Anatomy and Physiology to pre-Nursing college students and CPR to anyone who cares to know it, traveling to and from the Big Apple where her best friend Michelle currently resides and attempting to train her cats.