Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Praying for Direction

When Deanna and I toured New England a few years ago we didn't make a specific plan, just chase the color across the North East. I didn't have a map either, just a Garmin Street Pilot GPS. I call her Alice because her monotone, no nonsense directions remind me of a college librarian I knew years ago. I told Alice to guide me from up state New York to Booth Harbor Maine without going on any freeways or toll roads. I wish the college librarian had been so helpful. Alice was wonderful. We went through little villages in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine we would have bypassed. The great thing about Alice is that no matter how many side trips I took because something looked interesting, she always remained focused on the best route to our eventual goal. Unlike her namesake, she never got impatient, angry or stubborn, just kept redirecting me to my goal. If I were to write the program for a GPS, I would want to give it personality. Instead of saying "off route" and giving me new directions, I would have it say, "another side trip? I'll have a coke!" (A gps can tell if your pulling into a Fast food joint). Or "if your not going to follow my directions, why did you ask?" OK so my GPS would probably get shut off but it would still be fun. If you travel without a GPS, I highly suggest one, they make travel easier and safer and the new ones even give real time road conditions and detours. This came to mind this morning while I was reading Jacobe Boheme. He was answering a question about unanswered prayer. In summary he said that when we ask God for directions, are we really looking for directions or just a suggestion to consider? The Holy Spirit always grants direction to the heart that is committed to following. Unfortunately most of us treat God the way I treat Alice. I trust her to get me to my destination, but I don't always take her advice. That may be good for a leisurely vacation, but really Lousy for my relationship with God. Think about it. When you pray, are you really asking for directions or just a suggestion?

1 comment:

Aimee said...

What a GREAT analogy dad! Really helps put things in perspective. I'm also laughing too because this past week in Oregon was my first experience operating a GPS on my own. Let's just say I always got to my destination...but never the same way, hee hee. :)