I am a step by step kind of person. When I’m driving from point A to point B, I don’t want to see a map….just give me the step by step of how to get there. The main reason for this is that I’m not really too good at reading maps. Mostly, they just confuse me. I have a terrible sense of direction. Very rarely can I tell you if I’m going north, south, east or west. And don’t even get me started about I-285! I NEVER know what direction I need to be going on that interstate! (Please tell me I’m not the only one who has problems with 285!) There have been many times that I’m driving and find that I have no idea where I’m at. I remember one time I was going somewhere and found myself totally lost. I was alone and beginning to get a little nervous. I called Greg and when he answered the phone, the first words out of my mouth were, “Where am I??” Of course he said, “How am I supposed to know where you are?” Then he patiently tried to help me figure out where the heck I was! It was no easy task for a couple of reasons. One, I was in a very rural area and my phone kept losing service. And two, I couldn’t really give him any information about where I was. Nothing like “I’m eight miles off the interstate” or “I just went through the town of so and so.” That’s another one of my problems; I’m not very observant when I’m driving. The best I could give him was, “I just passed a Dollar General.” That wasn’t quite enough for him to pinpoint my location! Finally, we decided it was best for me to go back to the Dollar General and see if someone in there could help me get to where I was trying to go.
I went into the store and asked for directions. A customer in line said that he was going the route that I needed to take for a short way and that I could follow him. So, I got back in my car and followed this stranger for a couple of miles, until he pulled into the parking lot of a liquor store. Not sure if I’m too trusting, too naive or just plain stupid, but I followed him into the parking lot. He showed me the way to go from there and I was on my way, eventually making it safely to my destination (albeit, a bit late!).
Not long after this incident, Greg bought me a GPS! Emilie and I named the GPS “Hope”, as in I hope she gets us to where we are trying to go! I feel so much more secure and confident when Hope is in my car with me. Even if she has to “recalculate” twenty times in one trip because I miss a turn, I always know that eventually Hope will get me home. I don’t ever look at the “big picture” on the GPS. The whole map thing just overwhelms me! Too much information at one time. Just tell me every time I need to turn…that I can handle!
Our lives are like a long road trip…sometimes the road is smooth with beautiful scenery, sometimes the road is bumpy and uncomfortable, sometimes the view outside our window is dark and ugly, sometimes it’s raining so badly that we can’t see and we have to pull off the road for a bit until the storm passes, sometimes we enjoy the trip with those we love, sometimes we travel alone and the trip is scary and lonely. I am so thankful that on this road trip called life I have a GPS to travel with me. I have Hope to navigate the confusing, frustrating, stormy and lonely roads with me. But unlike my physical GPS that Emilie and I named Hope, this Hope is a sure thing. Not an “I hope she gets us to where we are trying to go” kind of hope. But a Hope that is the very essence of security and confidence. A Hope that says, “I know the plans I have for you.” A Hope that says, “All things work together for good for those that love God and are called according to His purpose.” A Hope that says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” A Hope that says, “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.’”
I have been on the stretch of road where I am travelling with the one I love and the scenery is beautiful. How I long to travel that road again! But, the road I now travel is bumpy and uncomfortable and lonely and scary and not very pretty. But to get to the destination that my GPS, my Hope, has planned and purposed for me, this is the road that I must take. I could try to take shortcuts and rebel against the road in front of me. But who knows where I would end up, if I did that? (Another Dollar General or liquor store parking lot, maybe!) Instead I will choose to travel the path set before me. That doesn’t mean that I have to like it, the same way I don’t like driving in the rain. That doesn’t mean that I won’t have to pull off to the side of the road for a few minutes because I’m crying so hard that I can’t see what’s in front of me. That doesn’t mean that I won’t sometimes be unsure of what’s coming around the next curve in the road. But, it does mean that as long as I keep my eyes and ears on my GPS, my “Hope” that I WILL arrive at my destination. I WILL fulfill the purpose that my Hope has planned for me since before the beginning of time.
When I feel lost and like I don’t know where I am, it’s okay if I “call” the Lord and say, “Where am I??” He always knows where I am AND where I’m going! He goes before me, so He knows what’s ahead of me. Who better to be my navigator? I can’t look at the big picture; it’s just too overwhelming for me. Instead I will keep my eyes and my ears on my Hope and follow His directions…..step by step.
Trusting His Plan,