Confession 288: God is not a GPS

 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.  From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.  God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.  ‘For in him we live and move 

and have our being.’  Acts 17:24-28

nav system“Turn left in 300 feet,” Greta tells me assuredly, her cool computerized voice unwavering with confidence.  I move unhesitatingly into the left lane.

I must confess, I tend to be directionally challenged.  It’s a family trait, handed down through many generations.  On a recent trip to Omaha, my sister and I needed both Greta (my in-vehicle GPS) and Google to navigate the city.  Even with these two “expert” guides, we still managed to drive by one of our destinations three times.  Apparently NASA technology can only get you so far!fidence.  Without hesitating, I move my van into the left lane and prepare to turn.

I sometimes feel directionally challenged in life, too.  The 25 year old me would be utterly flabbergasted by the road map the almost 37 year old me has managed to create these past 12 years.  And to tell you the truth, I still have no idea where we’re going.  I seriously considered making a significant career change this summer.  It would have been a true leap of faith, and I was right on the cusp of jumping.  I spent hours agonizing over the decision, weighing the pros and cons, talking with friends and family, praying over and over for a sign.

“I need some direction!!!!” was my constant cry to God.  And then came these words from a woman much wiser than me: “Maybe there is no right answer….”  It hit me in that moment, as I read her words of truth, that I had been using God much like I use my GPS.  I was trying to plug in a destination and retrieve specific directions.  But God is not always interested in the specific directions for our journey.  God doesn’t want to be our GPS system, telling us to go straight, turn left, make a u-turn, head south….  Rather, God wants to be in a relationship with the children He created.

That doesn’t mean that directions aren’t part of the relationship.  I still call my parents and ask for advice.  And I believe that God wants to guide us along our life journey.  However, that guidance and direction is the byproduct of an authentic and intimate relationship with God.

When we spend time with God, whether it be in prayer, worship, Scripture, meditation, etc…. we invite God to dwell within us.  The Holy Spirit spreads throughout our being, like a fine mist sweeping up and settling in over a field.  God permeates us, enfolds us, fills us up so that, as Paul writes, we “live and move and breathe in Him”.  In God, we find ourselves, and that knowledge shapes where we go and what we do.

nav system 2The road maps of our lives are never going to be straight and clear.  There will be unexpected road closures, detours, breakdowns, and pit stops.  And sometimes, the directions won’t be very clear.  But I think that if we live a life built around a relationship with our Creator, we’ll always be headed in the right direction.

Blessings and Peace,


One thought on “Confession 288: God is not a GPS

  1. The Domestic Fringe says:

    Oh, my goodness Sara. I’ve been talking about this idea all summer. I love how you said God is not our GPS. I grew up being taught that God has a will for me for everything…like some mysterious secret. Every time I had an opportunity, I would about go crazy trying to see if it was God’s will or not. Now I think He really does give us choices. He can and will work in us and through us no matter our present job or house or whatever the decision. This change of thought has been revolutionary for me and quite freeing. It really is about my relationship with Him. I too often get caught up in the details and forget the big picture.

    Great post!

Comments are closed.