My G.P.S Navigation System

As most of you know, Joe recently surprised me with a new 2011 Toyota 4Runner. A lot sooner than I had expected, and A LOT nicer than I had expected! We’re talking leather seats, sunroof (or moonroof, whatever you fancy folks call it). A button that says “Party Mode”, which I’m still not sure what it does because I keep pressing it but nothing happens. (I’m waiting for confetti to shoot out of the a/c vents and the glove box to pop open with a bottle of vodka.) And some super fancy, in dash, GPS navigation system that connects to my iPhone via bluetooth. Now I’m sure most of you are like “Uh, yeah Jen, all the cool cars have that these days!” Well for the last 10yrs I had been driving a 2003 (or 2004) Nissan Xterra. The headliner had fallen down, my CD’s were stuck in the player, the seats… yeah lets not even talk about the food and beverage stains on the seats. Anyway, you get my drift! Momma moved up in the world and got her self a super fancy grocery getter! I have reached soccer mom status yall! But that’s not what this post is about. No, it’s about my GPS and how awesome I think it is, and how incredibly useful it has been!

Recently I’ve been trying to learn all the ins and outs of my GPS system, which has been quite the challenge because I’m not its first owner so it didn’t come with an instruction booklet. Off to Google I go! Find my models booklet, download it and get my learn on. I figured out how to program my favorite destinations, make hands free phone calls, and my favorite, play Pandora through it! I can’t stand regular radio these days, Pandora is streaming into my ears constantly!! Anyway, I’m all set up, I’ve got it all figured out and then late one night just as I’m going to sleep I start thinking about my GPS and how it reminds me my own life, and the path I’m walking daily.

We’ve all heard the saying “the shortest distance between two points is in a straight line.”And that’s exactly what using your GPS does. You plug in where you want to go, it calculates the route and you’re on your merry way in no time, granted you’re not stuck in Houston rush hour traffic! But just like in our lives we have “places” we want to be, certain dreams or goals we have set for ourselves. So we plug it in and get going. Here’s what I realized. God is a lot like the GPS systems in our cars. A lot of times we ask God to help us get to our destinations. Granted when we arrive it may not be what we were expecting, but he does answer our prayers, and he sets the course for us to follow. He prepares the way. He can see ahead and calculate every single detail in the roads ahead that we can’t even see. But what do we do? We get distracted or we feel like we’re not getting there fast enough so we make a sharp turn and try to take a “short cut”. That’s okay, God figured that into his plan as well. He’s that voice saying “RECALCULATING!”, or “U-Turn up ahead”. Or if your system is set up like mine, you have some sultry women’s voice that directs you where to go. For Christmas time we changed Joe’s to an elves voice and changed the car out from the default one to an old school caddy. That was pretty cool but the elf voice would scare the living daylights out of you if you weren’t expecting it. And it told stupid jokes.

Anyway, when I’m looking at my navigation screen I can’t help but wonder if thats how my life must look to God. I’m that little red arrow slowly moving along the green line. And it amazes me how precise and accurate these things are. Now God doesn’t always tell you what you’re arrival time will be but he’ll sometimes give you a heads up about what the traffic conditions are and is awesome enough to reroute you around the mess, we just have to listen to his voice. Or in my case, her voice. I swear it’s like calling a 1-800 number. That’s the one thing I haven’t figured out how to change yet!

The other day I was on my way to attend a baby shower, with Beau, that was about an hour away. I had only been in that direction a couple of times but I wasn’t certain of the location because it was in a new subdivision and my GPS hasn’t been updated in over a year. So I’m driving along and Pearl, thats what I named my car and the woman on my GPS, tells me that my destination is approaching, so I start to slow down. Well I pass what looks like some kind of state park and I’m thinking “Is my friend having her baby shower at a state park? That would be odd of her, but okay whatever.” Then Pearl says “Park your car near (whatever road it was) and be prepared to walk.” I literally said “What did you just say?!” (Beau chimed in with a “WHAAAAATTT!!” as well) and kind of started to panic! It had rained earlier that morning, I was in flip-flops, I had Beau with me, and a giant Diaper Genie to carry. Was she seriously suggesting that I just park my car on the side of the road and hoof it to this shower!? I don’t think so Pearl! So I call my friend and find out I had just passed the entrance to her neighborhood and that I would not have to strap on mud boots, carry Beau, and the diaper Genie on my back like a cavewoman! But that really got me thinking. How often does God tell us to park it, leave our comfort zone and go for a walk with him, trusting that he’s still got the final destination in his sights? And how often do we say, nope, I’m not walking through the mud, thats too hard, I’ll find my own way. Only to end up way off path and eventually circling back to the main road. Funny thing is, God will still be waiting there for you, this time with 2 pairs of hip boots, one for him and one for you!

So park your car and take that walk! You might enjoy the scenery! Or stop trying to take the shortcuts, he’s always going to recalculate a route back to the main road anyway.

Also, if you’re GPS isn’t up to date, take the time to update it. And but updating I mean, spending time in prayer, reading your bible, and going to church. And always keep mud boots in your car, if you live in the south like I do, you never know when _____ is about to get thick!

Good night all!

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