A few months ago a few major freeways were shut down. My friend, who was trying to get to my house, called me to direct her. She is notoriously bad at navigating but as I found out she was even worse at taking direction from someone. I couldn’t imagine a worse combination. It would ensure one to be perpetually lost.
She told me the address of where she was as I pulled out my map. She sounded timid, lost and confused. So I began by attempting to orient her and build her confidence in trusting the direction I was giving her. I pointed out landmarks I knew she would see at the corner of University and 37th. I directed her east. I told her she would drive pass the capital building and she was wowed by my knowledge. But then I sensed she was getting impatient and confused and I asked her again where she was and figured out that she had taken a turn off to the right when I had asked her to go straight on one street the whole way. I asked her to turn around but she kept going on the wrong street. I asked her where she was at again and if she recognized any of the streets she was seeing. “No, she wailed. I’m scared. I want to go home.” I could tell she wasn’t going to turn around and fulfill the original directions but knew she could get to my place via another route. So, I told her to continue along the route she had chosen and scrambled to accommodate directing her, as before to a location she recognized. She was delighted when she found a landmark she recognized and eventually made her way to her destination.
This is the exact picture of God, leading us along the path of life. He tries to generate our confidence in him. He shows us where to go. He “fixes” the directions when we in our confusion take a turn where we were directed not to.
Isn’t this the picture of us also? We wander around on paths we do not know. We are mostly perpetually lost because we’re bad at navigating and bad at taking direction. Our whim often determines where we will go. Then when we check back with God, in our fear and confusion, it is not because he gave us bad direction, it is because we didn’t listen well and are now confused about the continued direction he is giving us to accommodate our wandering.