Do you ever worry that you are heading in the wrong direction? Last spring, I was leaving an observation in downtown Cincinnati and took a wrong turn. I immediately saw signs welcoming me to Kentucky and knew I had gone the wrong way. The traffic made it hard to get back on the right path, so I turned on the GPS to guide me back to where I was supposed to be.
I was distracted because my heart was hurting and so many other things were going through my head when I should have been paying attention to the path that I was on. However, it got me thinking. If only it was that easy to change direction in life when you get on the wrong road and you’re heading the wrong way. If only it was that easy to take the next exit and turn around to head back in the right direction.
I learned that day that it wasn’t that easy. Sometimes, one wrong turn leads to another wrong turn, which in turn leads to another poor choice, and before you know it, you are further from your destination then when you started. Last spring, I was praying for a GPS for life. There were so many decisions looming overhead regarding treatment for Ben, and I was scared we would make the wrong choice. I wanted a voice to tell me every time I made a wrong turn or bad decision. I wanted it to put me on the right road heading in the right direction.
The beauty of GPS is that it corrects me and sends me back in the direction I want to be heading. And it’s immediate. The minute you make a wrong turn, it tells you that you are off track. You may lose a few minutes of time, but if you are lucky, you can get right back on track and make it to your destination without too many mishaps.
I find myself worrying a lot these days about making the wrong decision and heading down the wrong path. I spend a lot of time praying that I will open my Bible and see a GPS guiding me to the next turn. I sat reflecting on all of that today and I have come to three conclusions:
- A GPS only makes the journey easier if you know the destination. Sometimes we don’t know where we are heading. “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9. There are no shortcuts to get there, and if there were, taking them might make us miss out on some of the beauty of the drive.
- A GPS does not always make the journey easier. It may cut out a few wrong turns, but you may miss some beautiful scenery along the way. And if we spend all our time fearing making a wrong turn, we might end up missing out on the next important step in our directions. If we trust God to direct our paths, He will. “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
- Sometimes there is beauty in just taking the next turn. If we look too far ahead, we may get overwhelmed by the number of turns that we have to make to get to the final destination.
I still wish I had some set in stone directions that told me which turns to make and when. That’s mostly because I can’t always see the destination. I want to know where I am heading and what turns I have to make to get there. And some days, I am ready to take any shortcut that I can to reach that shiny flag on the final screen.
But I feel like I have reached a new season and a new place in this journey of life. It’s a season where I have realized that we can’t live life stressing about whether I am making the right or wrong choice. I can’t live in fear of making the wrong decision. In fact, every wrong turn I have made in the past, has helped me to learn a valuable lesson. Instead of fearing more wrong turns, I just need to pray and trust that God will be my GPS when I need him… even if He does decide to guide me only one turn at a time. I might still fear not knowing the destination, but I am determined to enjoy every turn and to appreciate every road He leads me down to get to that shiny flag at the end of the road.