GPS and the Spiritual Life

The other day I was driving in my car to a new restaurant to visit some friends. I put in the address I was given into my car’s GPS. This isn’t something I usually do (I’ll talk more about this in a little bit). I have lived in Jacksonville for a couple years now and like to think I know my way around pretty well. 

But that night was different. Not because of the location or car, but because of me. I just wanted to follow directions and sit back instead of trying to navigate myself. I experienced a great peace in just following the smooth voice of the GPS system. 

I realized this related to my spiritual life as well. Often I want to be in control of God’s plans for my life. I’ll make plans and then ask God to bless them, and then I’ll get frustrated when things don’t work out how I want them to. I think myself smart enough to know what’s best for me, and I certainly don’t need to use a map to get there. I think we can all find ourselves getting into this trouble here and there, but this is not how God wants us to follow him. 

Now I’m not advocating for people to stop doing things and wait for a voice from Heaven to tell them what to do, but I do think there is something we can learn from our Spiritual GPS.  We need to develop a disposition of openness to following Jesus. Like Mary and Joseph in their flight to Egypt, we need to learn to trust in God each turn on our journey. The peace we long for comes when we have Hope in God’s good plan for our lives. We won’t find ourselves in despair when things don’t go our way beacuse we will know God is giving us our directions. If we go off track, He will be there to put us right. 

We must learn to follow the Voice of God in our everyday life in a disposition of openness. 

“It is true that this trust in the unseen can cause us to feel disoriented: it is like being plunged into the deep and not knowing what we will find. I myself have frequently experienced this. Yet there is no greater freedom than that of allowing oneself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, renouncing the attempt to plan and control everything to the last detail, and instead letting him enlighten, guide and direct us, leading us wherever he wills. The Holy Spirit knows well what is needed in every time and place. This is what it means to be mysteriously fruitful!” – Joy of the Gospel, 280


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