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.