When I moved to Boise, I created a challenge for myself. I attempted to use GPS as little as possible. I knew that I would learn my way around town much more quickly without the helpful yet monotone voice of Siri guiding my every step. So, I taped a big old map of Boise right by the front door of my apartment, drew a little yellow star on the cross-streets of my home, and stared and memorised and repeated street names to myself before leaving the house every day. As I ventured out and began putting my memory and sense of direction to the test, something beautiful happened.
I got really lost.
A quick drive to the grocery store or gas station would end up as a scenic drive in the foothills or down a pretty neighbourhood street that had previously been unexplored. Siri came to the rescue more than a few times, but every experience ended up being an adventure.
You see, when I use GPS, I know exactly where my final destination is. The goal is to get there quickly, efficiently, and by someone else’s pre-calculated route. It’s living based on where I want to end up and not embracing the experience of travelling.
Following a map, on the other hand – and, more specifically, a treasure map – is all about the experience. Each step in the journey transforms from just the next checkpoint on the list, to a fun adventure in itself. The trade-off is, of course, that I don’t always know where I’m going to end up. I have to trust that I’m interpreting the clues correctly, getting closer and closer to wherever “X” is.
Following God is not like following a GPS. It’s like following a treasure map.
In life, it’s easy for me to focus on the destination. I know where I want to go and I want to create my own route to get there. God speaks to me so often about letting go of control, being present-minded, trusting the small clues He’s giving me day by day. It can be so hard, but it is so rewarding.
I get to live without expectations, trusting that I’ll get to the right place eventually. I get to enjoy every step along the way, learning and growing and seeing His hand in the small things. I reach destinations I never could have imagined when I allow Him to lead me.
I have to remind myself of this today. I have to remind myself of this every day. Especially in this season, I have to remind myself that I want to live for the journey. Currently, the destination is Australia. When I try to create me own set of directions for how to get there, I become overwhelmed and fearful. But when I let go and trust, I’m able to see the tiny steps that God has given me, and it’s miraculous.
He leads me into wonderful conversations with just the right people. He gives me simple, manageable tasks to accomplish. He provides for me in beautiful ways. He teaches me and encourages me throughout the entire process.
It isn’t always easy, though. Sometimes this lack of knowing makes me feel directionless. The funny thing is, however, that I end up more lost when I follow my own plan than when I follow God. His path may be winding and rough and long, but He’ll never let me wander astray.