Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Are You a Mapquest Christian?

MapIn my early days of driving, I got lost often. I would take the wrong exit and inevitably get stuck in the worst part of town. In those cases, I would place a frantic call to my mom or dad, and they would try to piece together where I had gotten off track while I kept clicking the locks on the car to make sure they were activated. 

When I discovered Mapquest, I thought I had found the answer to my problems. I had learned through trial and error where I should (and shouldn't) go; however, if I was going to a place I had never been, I counted on the convenience of the map printed from my computer.

This is kind of the way my spiritual life went as well. I would make a bad decision and when things got bad or I felt really lost, I'd call on my parents and they would help me get back on track. Eventually, I had some experience to draw on and started to make better choices. However, there were those times when I was in uncharted waters and needed more direction. My Bible provided the answers. I would dig in, and I learned a lot. It was full of practical truth to guide me when I was lost.

Eventually, I discovered in both my driving and my spiritual life that Mapquest was not always the most reliable. Unless I decided ahead of time exactly where I was going and printed out the map at home, I was pretty much stuck when it came to finding out where to go. My Bible isn't always available either. When a snap decision must be made, it just doesn't do to flip through the concordance in the back of my Bible.

A few times I would print out a map only to find it hadn't been updated and I ended up on a dead end street somewhere far from where I wanted to be. Mapquest is simply too difficult to update regularly in a changing highway system. While the Bible is always relevant, there are some modern things that just aren't addressed in black and white. For example, the two "biggies" in Christian circles are cigarettes and alcohol; however neither of them are clearly prohibited in God's Word. (That'll get some angry comments! Hear me out.....I said "clearly".)

Another problem I had with my handy Mapquest map was the fact that I had to look at it. Specifically, the problem was I had to look at it while I was supposed to be looking at the road. Sometimes I was so distracted by looking at my map, that I would completely miss a turn and have to turn around. Scriptures committed to memory are wonderful and helpful, but for those things that crop up in day-to-day life, it is just not possible to pull out a "rule book" and find an answer on the spot. It distracts from the decision that needs to be made.


I finally found my answer to the Mapquest dilemma. My husband, who also got tired of receiving frantic calls at work, bought a GPS system. It was always there in the car when I got in. It could be plugged in for regular updates so I wouldn't receive any surprises in my travels. A gentle (for the most part) voice directed me so I didn't have to look down at a map. Perhaps the best part was, it knew exactly where I was so I could find direction from there rather than from back at my house where I had started.

Jesus promised His disciples a GPS when He left. Well, actually, He called Him the Comforter. The Holy Spirit that would guide them into all truth. The One Who would write the law on their hearts so they didn't have to carry around a map for every decision that must be made.

People looking on might think I do strange things. Why do I want to look like I do? Why do I act the way I do? Why do I refrain from certain behaviors and activities? If I forget to plug in and update my spiritual GPS through a regular devotional life, then I might find myself lost. However, when I tune in to what my GPS tells me, I find direction---just when I need it. And He always knows where I am.

KCSome people try to convince me I have the wrong map. Or that it is out of date. Others just scratch their heads and say, "I looked at your map, but I just don't see it." That's o.k. When they plug into the GPS, He'll know where they are, too.

I will probably hear a lot of "recalculating" messages. It doesn't matter. It is enough to know that He knows where I am and He knows where I need to be. I'm looking forward to the day when I hear the final "arriving at destination."


  1. This is so good and right Jennifer. People need to hear this and read this. I shared it once again. I love your blogs. Keep it up.

  2. Excellent, excellent post, Jennifer, and so timely. I appreciate it more than you know.