Just recently I had to drive on my own from Birmingham to Biggleswade. This involved a route crossing the midlands, roughly from the west to the south east, which is not an easy thing, as the roads mostly go from north to south. I decided to take the Satnav, which in all honesty I rarely use, because consulting a map when driving alone is not simple or safe.
At the first main roundabout we came to the Satnav told me to join the motorway and travel north. Now I had just a few moments to consider this suggestion and do as I was told. However, since this instruction was against all my common sense, I clearly knew I needed to travel in a south easterly direction. I ignored the advice and headed south, not north, on the motorway. The Satnav spoke clearly and without emotion ‘Recalculating!’ The voice then remained quiet for a long time (I passingly wondered if, after all, it did have feelings and was sulking) but eventually asked me to turn off the motorway and head up a specified road, which I gratifyingly realised did take me in an easterly direction, as the sun was now setting in my rear view mirror.
There were one or two more moments where the Satnav and I disagreed. I always got my own way, and it patiently ‘recalculated’ – and eventually I arrived at my destination. Just out of interest I thought I would look at the map and see the route which I’d taken. I think I wanted to prove to myself that I’d made good choices.
But sadly it wasn’t so! If only I’d followed the first instruction I would have arrived much sooner and had an easier journey. The direct route did require me to go north for a few miles to join a much better road which traversed the country. The Satnav had the whole picture which I didn’t. Counter intuitive though it might have been I should have been obedient and not gone with what seemed right to me. I only made my journey a more arduous zigzag across the land.
Immediately I thought of today’s verse, so well known to many of us. The truth was that my intervention, of what I thought was best, had made the route much more difficult. I got there in the end but definitely not in the best way. And all because I wasn’t able to trust the Satnav!
I wonder how often this happens in my daily life. Am I able to trust God (who is infinitely more trustworthy than a Satnav) when His ways for me seem counter intuitive? Do I make my passage through each day more difficult because I continually want to re-route my life, with my own common sense and understanding? If we read verse 5 of Proverbs 3 we see how essential it is that we don’t lean on our own understanding because this above all says we are not trusting God with all of our heart. What a challenge for us all as we take our life journey.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that Your route for me through each day of my life is under Your watchful gaze. Thank You that You have the big picture, the very big picture, of all the things I don’t know, which affect me and my destiny. Please forgive me for the times I ignore Your direction, trusting instead in my own understanding. Thank You that You are constantly ‘recalculating’ the way forward for me to reach my true destination. I pray this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.
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