One of my offspring recently recounted a hair-raising journey following the directions of sat-nav.
It had sent them by the shortest route, which in this case turned out to be a practically unnavigable track.
It made me reflect on how technology has changed route planning. Destinations are postcodes rather than place names, and routes are revealed at the touch of a screen rather than thumbing through map pages and seeing a network of possibilities.
Sat nav will automatically send us by the quickest or shortest route. However, if we take the same approach to life and rush along the fast lane, we may miss ‘travelling mercies’. As the African proverb says:
If you want to walk fast, walk alone, if you want to walk far, walk together
When we constantly look to overtake, we distance ourselves from positive connections.
But if we draw alongside others, we will have opportunities to give and receive, and find purpose and meaning in life.
Likewise, when we look for short cuts from difficult situations or a tedious part of life’s journey, we distance ourselves from unexpected blessings.
Sat nav will often use single track roads as short cuts, with disastrous results, yet are we vastly different in our lives?
Having a single-track mind can blind us to possibilities or lead us to assume a right of way, and unless we stop in our tracks, a head on collision may well be around the corner.
But I believe that just as sat-nav is constantly tracking our progress, so too is God.
Not in a vindictive way, but in clearing the way ahead. Just like sat-nav logs our position when we’ve taken a wrong turn and re-routes us, so too will God.
Sometimes getting lost and arriving somewhere later than expected is called ‘taking the scenic route’, but what we may have lost in time or speed, we will have gained in learning from the distance covered. So let’s be attentive to God’s nudges, and respond with due care and attention.
Truth is… “My thoughts” says the Lord “are not like yours, and my ways are different from yours” Isaiah 55:8