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Monday, March 2, 2015

When God Chooses Your GPS Route!


I’m not a big fan of those little GPS things that tell you which way to drive to get somewhere.  I like the maps they offer, because they help me find roads I might not otherwise know about from the larger maps I carry, but I don’t like a little gadget telling me which way to go.  Especially because I often frustrate it, as I enjoy driving alternate routes, and when I do so the GPS gals hate it.  For what seems like an eternity, they say “please turn around at the next opportunity” until they finally give up on me, at which point, with disgust and disappointment in their electronic little voices they say, “rerouting.”  They hate that.  They probably file a report with the NSA or something, too, just for spite.

This past weekend, my wife and I had plans, which involved a couple long days of driving, a family get together and a high school drama production.   What was NOT in the plans was the huge snowstorm that would overwhelm Texas, huge that is in geographic terms, only an inch or so in terms of how bad the snowstorm was.  An inch or two is not a big deal in Kansas, but in Texas….well, let’s just say that snow removal and winter storm preparedness is not the forte of the Lone Star State.   

As a result, we got to be the ones who were the GPS system!  Which is to say, we had established the planned route for the weekend, but God had something else in mind.  First, the plane we were supposed to meet at the airport when we arrived was delayed.  Then cancelled and rescheduled.  Next, the road we were on was shut down because of a wreck somewhere up the way, so we got out my atlas and the GPS map on the device and then we found a way we could reroute onto another road.  When we met a friend near the airport to await arrival, we got word the family member’s flights were cancelled, and she would not make it.  Then we got word that the drama production had been cancelled for the next night.  

Like the GPS, we were thinking…wait, go back, go back…and finally end up saying to ourselves, “rerouting”.  In one case we got off a highway and took another road to reach our destination.  In another case, we changed dinner plans and ended up with a less hurried meal with a friend.  Another aspect changed where I was staying, one night with the friend instead of two.  Rerouting, rerouting.  Rolling with the punches is the phrase that used to be applied.  But then this morning I got to thinking, maybe there is more than I realize.

When the GPS yells at me to turn around, it is because it is under the mistaken notion that it knows what I am wanting to do.  It reroutes when it finally figures out that I’m not doing what it thought I was doing.  The next morning, after all the reroutes the previous night, I began thinking about whether I really was like the GPS and clueless as to what this whole trip was about to begin with.  

That is, I thought we were coming down for the family get together, including the individual who didn’t make it, and the play.  

Perhaps God had something else in mind.  

Maybe those weren’t the purposes God had in mind for the trip.  Maybe I only THOUGHT I knew what God was planning.  Maybe the real purpose God had was for us to have a weekend away to rest.  Or maybe it was so I could see my friend, and the other planned events were what would get me here.  Or maybe it is about a different person in the family, or a different moment in the family interactions.  My rerouting may be nothing more than adjusting my direction to the circumstances God brings into my life.

In my last blog, I spent some time talking about meanings to be found in the upheaval of life and divorce.  

Today, I’d like to suggest a step further, that maybe when your marriage fell apart and you were forced to restructure your life accordingly, maybe it was like my little trip.  

Maybe God was forcing you to reroute, because you only THOUGHT you knew what he had in mind for you, and only through the forced reroutings will you end up on the road that leads to the purposes God actually does have in mind for you.  

Make no mistake, God DOES have purpose for your life, and that purpose is the one that is good.  In fact, it is the best.  Just remember that while you are trying to figure out how to reroute!

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