GPS — Global positioning system. Our navigational tool. It always seems to know where we are, where the closest fueling station is and how far to the nearest McDonalds. We rely on it for direction. We rely on it to show us where to go and to get us to where we are going.
This morning I was headed to a meeting when my GPS suddenly changed from an 8:00am arrival time to a 9:10am arrival time. Within moments I was sitting in traffic in between two exits on the highway with no way to reroute. Sitting. Still. Not moving at all — I was 10 miles away from where I was supposed to be and my projected arrival time kept getting later and later. I was going to be late. Since I was completely stopped in traffic (I promise I did not text and drive), I pulled out my phone to send a quick email to the person I was supposed to meet. I started typing that according to my GPS I was going to be late. I typed gps and as soon as I hit the spacebar, gps turned to God. I felt an instant warm tingle. GPS — my navigational tool — was autocorrected to God. GPS the thing I was blaming for slowing me down had autocorrected to God. I tried it several more times — and each time I typed the letters gps and hit the space bar, the word changed to God. Hmmm. Was He trying to tell me something? I thought about that as I sat in traffic for another hour and as I finally passed the accident that had shut down the highway, thankful that I wasn’t in it.
Later this evening, as I was driving home, I somehow found myself in another traffic jam. Once again I was stuck on the highway between two exits with no way to reroute and the GPS was telling me I was now 3 hours and 50 minutes away from home (instead of the hour and a half I should have been). I was bored. The entire highway was at a standstill. We were not moving anytime soon. I pulled out my phone and tried typing gps on a text to see if it would autocorrect — I was disappointed to see it did not autocorrect on my text and remained gps. Maybe it was just a fluke this morning. Or maybe it only worked on email. I decided to text my sisters to see if when they typed an email it changed the word gps to God. Wouldn’t it be cool if I told them to email something like “I love my gps!” or “Follow gps” and it changed to I love my God or Follow God. I decided on “I need gps.” I texted them asking them to email me this phrase and as soon as I typed I need gps — it autocorrected to “I need God”. A moment ago when I typed gps it recognized it as a word, but when I texted “I need gps” — it automatically changed to “I need God”. Was God talking to me? I fixed the text message so it told them to text or email “I need gps” and waited for what I hoped was a stream of emails or text messages that said “I need God.” Instead they all came back “I need gps.”
Now I was certain God was trying to tell me something. But what? At this point I had been up since 3:30, had driven or been stuck in traffic for almost 8 hours total, and had spent 6 hours in a meeting, so I was a little tired and a little slow. Then it hit me. Duh! God is the only GPS I need. I need to rely on Him for direction. This was not really a new lesson– but one for which I can always use a reminder. But I felt there was more. I put my hands up in the air and asked (I was still sitting in traffic) — what direction are you telling me to take? And I looked at the traffic around me and at the gps that was still taunting me with a red line representing the traffic on the route and the added time it was telling me the journey would take. And I thought — how strange that twice today I have been sitting (literally sitting) — forced to sit still in traffic for long periods — and thinking about God and GPS. The message was suddenly loud and clear. SLOW DOWN. BE STILL. And I kid you not, I heard the song Still, by Hillary Scott. Its words hit the nail on the head:
I believe that You are God alone
But sometimes I still try to take control
Cause I get scared when I can’t see the end
And all You want from me is to let go
You’re parting waters
Making a way for me
You’re moving mountains that I don’t even see
You’ve answered my prayer before I even speak
All You need for me to be is still
I just need to be still. God has it all under control.
Tonight the Bible opened to Luke:
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a person building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built. But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.”
You have my attention. I am listening. All of todays devices and media and GPS’s cannot show me the path that you have set for me. Help me to listen and to act upon your words. You are my GPS. You know where I am and where I am going. You know how to get me there. Help me to follow. Help me to turn off all of the distractions. Help me to be still, to slow down, to see what you are doing. Thank you for slowing me down today and keeping me safe.