Have you had this experience?
You’re driving somewhere you’ve never been, but you feel secure because you have a GPS. That little blue line on the face of your phone, the moving road map that tells you exactly where you are and how to get to your destination, gives you confidence in foreign lands.
Then, suddenly, you deviate.
(Sometimes I do this just because I feel rebellious. That lady in the GPS is sure bossy!)
Maybe I need gas, or I looked in the mirror to talk with a child in the back and miss my turn – whatever happened, the lady belts out my error – albeit politely – with “proceed to route” or “recalculating.”
And then, the screen flashes, and by some computorial genius, the blue line reappears, rearranged to accommodate my unexpected location.
(Sometimes, I keep that rearranger in my GPS pretty busy.)
On a brilliant summer Saturday morning this year, I drove through the breathtaking mature-corn lined backroads of southern Pennsylvania. I turned a little prematurely, and immediately, the lady in the GPS informed me of the error. The screen blinked once, and a new blue line snaked out onto the map. The new route used a few different roads, but the destination remained the same.
God nudged me.
And I saw how this GPS was a terrific analogy for how He interacts with our free will.
“This is the way to heaven,” He tells us at Baptism. “We’ll go together.”
Sometimes, just because I feel rebellious, I deviate from the way. Maybe I make a selfish decision that isn’t for the good of my family. Maybe I choose to follow the way of the world – for years.
Jesus goes with me, quietly urging me to return to the route, recalculating the path that will lead me to heaven from whatever wrong turn I’ve taken.
Sometimes, with the way we exercise our free wills, he has to rearrange a lot.
But with Christ, there is always an alternate route. It may be a little longer, maybe over roads that aren’t so smooth, but He’ll walk us over them, all the way home.
That gives me such peace, when I look at my adult children.
They’ve moved beyond the range of my control into the realm where I only have influence. Even so, I let their decisions create a whirlwind of anxiety in my heart. Are they abandoning Christ? Did they even think that problem through? Is there an end to the variety of ways they can stray from the path He put them on at their Baptisms?
God’s got it.
He’s with them right now, recalculating the route.