Several years ago I took my wife to Sonoma, California for our 30th wedding anniversary to celebrate the beauty of our marriage in the beauty of wine-country. It seemed very fitting since Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into extraordinary wine was His demonstration that He could turn what is ordinary into something extraordinary and intoxicating. (John 2)
We flew into the San Francisco airport where we picked up our rental car. Once we located our car in the parking garage, I set up my new GPS devise that my family bought me for my birthday earlier that month. Shortly after turning it on, it gave me the message, “unable to acquire satellites.” The signals my guidance unit needed were blocked by the structure around me.
As I pulled out of the car rental garage after showing the attendant my paperwork, I noticed that I had just a few yards left before I would have to turn either left or right and choose a lane for different highways. I pulled off to the side to allow the GPS to start working but the attendant started yelling and signaling me to get going. As I moved up to the stoplight, I was faced with a decision without adequate information. I picked a lane and started moving. THEN, the GPS spoke up – It had connected with the satellites and calculated my position.
The GPS promptly instructed me to take the next left, but I couldn’t. I was stuck in the right lane with a barricade on my left. As I drove past the on-ramp I should have taken in this unfamiliar, chaotic place I started to go to panic, anger and shame. And then I heard a calm, re-assuring voice say, “recalculating”. The GPS realized that I had missed my turn and was recalculating a new route for me to take to our destination. After a few tense and uncertain moments, I realized that this was not a disaster and that I could relax, enjoy conversation, music and beauty as I simply moved forward as instructed.
What started out as an anxiety and regret-ridden road-trip, turned into an exhilarating, adventuresome journey to a beautiful destination, and all because I was able to get out from under the obstructions and trust the guidance of something that knew where I wanted to go and how to get there, even with the mistakes I had made.
God is so kind and forgiving with our blunders, misunderstandings, reluctance, over-ambitiousness, immaturity and sinfulness. So many times I expected Him to say to me, “You blew it, you’re on your own now, I’m done trying to help you.” Instead, God invites us out from under all the obstructions (wounding, sin, warfare) to His guidance. “Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress.” (Heb. 12:1 NLT) I have come “to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” (Isa. 61:1)
But then, when we blow it and have a repentant heart; God says, “recalculating.” In other words, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” (Psa. 32:8) “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11 NLT)
Let us keep our heart free to hear His voice and relaxed with the faith that He will “recalculate” our way when needed.