Based on Psalm 23
Anyone who spends time traveling unfamiliar roads can appreciate having a Global Positioning System, or GPS. Whether built or plugged into a vehicle or as a handheld smartphone feature, GPS makes it easier to find your way. You simply turn it on, and it sends a signal to earth-orbiting satellites that tell you where you are. You can then enter your destination and get turn-by-turn directions that lead you to where you want to go.
GPS is marvelous, but if you outpace its calculation speed, it sometimes tells you to turn when youâ€™ve almost passed the required street. It also sometimes chooses routes you wouldnâ€™t ordinarily take and carries you out of your way or through â€œinterestingâ€ neighborhoods. Outdated GPS maps can direct you to unexpected places – like dirt roads or swamps far from your destination. If you lose your signal for some reason, you may have no idea where you are until the GPS unit â€œwakes upâ€ and gets itself together. When it works right, GPS can get you where youâ€™re going with ease. When it doesnâ€™t, it can get you totally lost with equal ease. Thatâ€™s why I use GPS when traveling, but also print out a low tech but reliable map and directions as a backup.
Total reliance on GPS to find your way is like total reliance on this world and those in it to lead you to well-being. This worldâ€™s directions for success can lead to prosperity, popularity, achievement and acclaim. They can also, however, lead to stress, confusion, disappointment and anxiety. All of us run into unexpected obstacles in lifeâ€™s road, take detours to avoid trouble that comes anyway, get knocked off course by unanticipated challenges, and feel like weâ€™re displaced and wandering sooner or later.
Itâ€™s easy for the best of us to sometimes feel totally lost on lifeâ€™s highway, but when we trust in the Lord, weâ€™ll find new direction, new strength, new joy and new peace of mind. When we let the Lord Jesus direct our lives – not as our backup, but as our primary and most reliable friend and guide – then Heâ€™ll never lead us the wrong way or forsake us, and will always gently put us back on the right road when we go astray or lose our way.
Navigating lifeâ€™s twists and turns may not be easy, but we can successfully find our way to where we need to be when we rely not on GPS, but on the Jesus who led our ancestors in the faith to say, â€œGuide my feet while I run this race, for I donâ€™t want to run this race in vain.â€