Sunday, June 07, 2015

Sunday Afternoon Tea - God and Google Maps

When we were on our journey "out East", I drove part of the way and my husband navigated.  For I cannot read and move at the same time without feeling extremely queasy.  There was one particular stretch of Interstate the first day of our road trip that was highly uncomfortable to say the least... and downright frightening when in the midst of it.

I depend on Google maps when I travel and usually on long road trips, they prove extremely helpful.  But as I found myself driving I-90 through Cleveland, Ohio... in rush hour traffic... I was ready to do bodily harm to the person (algorithm?) who decided this was the best way for anyone to travel.

My husband uses a thousand words where I prefer at the most ten or twelve.  So instead of telling me to get in the left hand lane ahead and take I-Whatever and merge with State Road (insert number), he would give me a lengthy explanation of urban traffic when all I wanted was "Merge Left!", "Merge Right ahead", "you need Exit #123", etc.

When we emerged to the other side of Cleveland with both body and van intact, I said a few thank yous to God and looked for the exit to the place we were spending the night.  I recall texting my daughter that we arrived and were fine but wondering what algorithm at Google would send us on the Interstate through Cleveland?

Stephanie texted back saying that was odd, for Google Maps never sent them through Cleveland when they were returning home. It wasn't until later that we realized why our route was different than their Google Maps route.

So what does any of this have to do with the photo above?  Well, I took the camera with me last week to take some photos of the forest. I was able to get a few photos on the media card before the batteries died.  The view of the country road running in front of our gravel lane was one of them.

When I was waiting for a pickup truck to make its' way down the road and out of my line of sight, I pondered how different the place I live is than Downtown Cleveland.  I have lived in a major city before, that being Detroit... but I much prefer the quiet of the country.  I thought of the Google Maps experience and how Stephanie and I figured out we were sent through Cleveland because our destination was different than hers.

For we were stopping on our journey to stay at a hotel next to the Interstate not all that far from Cleveland and they were zipping along all the way to their home in New England.  (What can I say, one needs to stop on a long trip when they are no longer young.)

Google maps didn't send us through a very uncomfortable experience because it wanted to improve my prayer life.  No, we were taken the direct route to where we wanted to end up... at a quiet and comfy hotel room.

I'm not sure why that Truth hit me as it did, standing on the side of the country road which was built in the midst of a forest.  It was as if God just downloaded Truth.  His Truth that made so much sense.

Sometimes the twists and the turns in our life's journey that seem like a mistake are actually His direct route that lead us to our destination!

Which is why it is a mistake to compare our life's journey to that of another who seems to have had it so much easier than us.

My husband gets frustrated with our very tight budget quite often.  He didn't expect to retire on almost nothing when he worked hard for both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree.  It isn't fair.  All of his friends have retired at least comfortably and some with wealth.  They travel and and enjoy fine dining and golf tournaments and have fun.  If you listened to his words, everyone he has ever known had an easy journey in life.

Well, we know that is not true and I do remind him no one gets through the journey unscathed by difficulties.  Most people may not have trials and tribulations which had the affect on their life as his illness... but they would tell you the journey has not been easy.

But he... being a melancholic on the level of Puddleglum and Eeyore... doesn't see it that way.  Even if in his heart he knows it, his brain thinks differently... and there is an enemy of our souls that loves to whisper his version of truth... which is not God's Truth.

God's Truth?  This life is just the dress rehearsal, the journey where what we do and how we choose to live life results in Heavenly rewards.  For that is our destination, you know.  This isn't it.  This is just the Shadowlands.  We must never let the journey in this life decide our success.  Even if all we can give back to God is our attitude... He rewards us when we trust Him.  Some rewards may be here.  The permanent rewards are There, where the moth does not eat them and they never rust or get old.

His written Word tells us (in the Book of Acts) that each person is born in both the place He chooses and in the time of history He chooses.  He knew your journey before your were walking the planet.  He knew you would be living during a time of turmoil in the 21st Century.  And He has given you everything you need for the journey.

Even if that journey takes you up mountains and down into valleys and on white water rapids of life and through dark storms and walking along life's highways in the heat and humidity and it becomes so hard you make it only by leaning on Him.  Yes, you are right.  That's what He designed all along.  You.  Him.  Together.  

For ever and ever, Amen.

This life is not the destination.  It is not a sprint we are on.  It's a marathon.  And you are going to run that race and win that crown.  Not perfectly.  Never perfectly.  But you are going to cross that finish line someday.  Then the good stuff really begins.


Judy said...

"We must never let the journey in this life decide our success. Even if all we can give back to God is our attitude... He rewards us when we trust Him." I just love this, Brenda - that because in many ways we don't choose the particular journey the Lord sends us on, and no two journeys are the same, our measure of success here, in this life, cannot be compared with others. The reward of 'well done, my good and faithful servant' can belong to each of us only as we choose to go on trusting Him along the way.
Thanks for the encouragement - blessings on your day.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Sharon D.

Anonymous said...

Your words today are so applicable for my life today Brenda. I need to be reminded who is in charge and fortunately it isn't me.

Terra said...

"He has given you everything you need for the journey", so true.

Anonymous said...

Dear Brenda, This is maybe the best column you have written yet, in my opinion. I so agree. Your hubby need not feel alone...though we were never much more than just surviving...having many health issues with our children (non required hospitals, but a constant run at the doctors). We do not own a home, and now at our ages, do not care so much. But my hubby too is much educated. He has 2 college degrees...and worked as an electrical engineer with a PE liscense...for the Army Corps of Engineers the last years. A crazy (truly verifiably nuts) boss drove him to an early retirement. We own a very old car and a newer one and a few possessions. That is all. Yes, we have a bit in the bank, not enough for a house, but we use that to help our children and others as we can. And live in a 500 sq. ft apt. on the edge of a huge city. This country girl longs for different location...but one day it will come...probably not in this life. The serendipity of the early retirement? We were able to be close to our youngest grandbaby and she and we are so very close!! What a reward!! Lots better than money in the bank or a fancy house frankly!! Some things money cannot buy!! Hope things look up more for you and hubby as time goes along.
Elizabeth in WA

Vee said...

Oh my. This is good. All we do must do is yield and He will be with us through Cleveland. (in my case, it was Dallas or was it Phoenix?) I still recommend trip-tiks...worth the money to join AAA and the savings on car insurance pays for it. Your husband sounds like anyone would depending on the day. There is no parity with God. (I also really identified with a husband who likes words.)

Lee Ann said...

Beautiful post. I'd like to think I'd have the same attitude as you.

Barbara said...

Brenda, that was a really good observation you made about the twists and turns that seem like a mistake are really God's direct route to our destination. I'm pondering that one!

Julia said...

So beautiful and true. My heart needed this today. Thank you for sharing.

Mrs.Rabe said...


I had a similar conversation with a friend yesterday. She has RA and has lived with pain for so many years. We were talking about how we only see 'happy' things as God's blessing, and we tend to see the hard things as, well, not blessing! Yet God has blessed us with both to bring us to our destination on the path planned out just for each one of us. And yes! the final destination is going to be amazing!


Anonymous said...

Hello BreNDA,

I read your blog off of Mountain Musings and I enjoy your writings. I clicked on your daughters blog and noticed it has not been updated and wonder how her weight loss has been? I am considering a aide to help me loose weight Plus get some other heath benefits and does she recommend the product she used?

Thank you if you choose to answer this.

Anonymous said...

I love what you shared. Thank you for taking the time to think it through and then write it down. You do such a great job!! 😉 Blessings! Pam (SD)

Melissa said...

Ha! Driving through Cleveland...I used to live on the east side of town, called Willoughby, perhaps you drove right through my old hometown.

Cheryl said...

This is a beautiful post, full of truth and encouragement. Oh, how very true that He is the navigator! We must simply (although it doesn't feel "simple" at times) trust the Navigator and walk the route that He has chosen for us, knowing that He does all things well.

It has been such a busy week so far (can it really only be Tuesday?!), and I started to read this on Sunday evening and was distracted. I am so glad that I returned to finish reading this morning. Thank you for sharing this wonderful insight that the Lord gave to you.

Ann said...

Again and again ... you bring to our attention exactly what we need to encourage us our own journey. God has blessed you with great insight and the ability to put in words what sometimes I can only think but not express.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

~ Valerie

Front Porch Grace said...

This. Beautiful analogy. Thank you for obediently sharing.

May your journey always and forever lead you closer to the heart of the One who loves you most.

In Grace,