Faulty Navigation

Faulty Navigation

On a recent much needed long weekend trip my husband and I were so proud of ourselves for packing so efficiently and getting on the road earlier than usual.  The weather was cloudy but dry and the traffic wasn’t too bad. We had a general idea of where we were going and set the GPS for our final destination. We headed north through Boston only stopping briefly and continued on.  I casually read exit signs that should have caused a “bell to go off” but it wasn’t until we were way off course that we stopped to check the GPS setting.  Somehow it was programmed wrong and we were near Bar Harbor 80 miles farther north than Boothbay Harbor the town where we were supposed to stay! Luckily for us we pulled over at an ice cream shop but then we had no alternative but to turn around.

A harbor is a body of water sheltered by natural or artificial barriers. Harbors can provide safe anchorage and permit the transfer of cargo and passengers between ships and the shore. The word “harbor” means to shelter or keep safe. We were safe but far off course.

Navigation is the process or activity of accurately ascertaining one’s position and planning and following a route. And that was our problem. Usually my husband carefully checks paper maps before any trip and checks for any detours or construction along the route. I had the confirmation from the hotel in my purse which gave directions including the exits to take. But I failed to double check it and at the rest area we didn’t look at the wall map. Instead, we were trusting in our GPS which told us to keep going straight but was programmed wrong. We had been so weary of the everyday grind and anxious to be on vacation we failed to fully prepare.

 “Monotony can dull your thinking until your mind slips into neutral. A mind that is unfocused is vulnerable to “the world, the flesh, and the devil,” all of which exert a downward pull on your thoughts you’re your thinking processes deteriorate, you become increasingly confused and directionless. The best remedy is to refocus your mind and heart on Me, your constant Companion”.    From Jesus Calling,  2004

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. 6 Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.      Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Message)

When we get tired and let our guard down we plod along thinking we are doing okay. We will miss the cues that tell us something isn’t right if we fail to consult God’s map for living.  The Bible warns us of bumpy roads, dangerous intersections and detours as well as promising scenic routes and restful stops. We cannot fully navigate through the challenges of life without His help because our minds are easily swayed by what we read and hear in the media and from other people. Our attitudes and our choices can be compromised. That is why we need to be very careful what voices we are listening to.

Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.        Josh 1:7 (ESV)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.       Psalms 119:105 (ESV)

So, we turned the car around (another word for repent), read the directions and reprogrammed the GPS. We did have a good weekend away but it would have started off much better if we had not been in a rush. Next time we will be sure to check all maps and not be detoured by faulty navigation.

Weary Travelers

Weary Travelers

According to AAA, an estimated 115.6 million Americans were expected to travel this holiday season. That was a 3.9% increase from last year and includes plane, train, automobile, bus and cruise travel. AAA expected that more than 853,000 would call for some type of help. On an average there is a one out of five chance of a delay but on December 26th you can expect a 66% chance of delayed service. And for the 21st year in a row, Atlanta, GA is the world’s busiest airport! That is a lot of travelers for one season.

Throughout the Advent season, without realizing it, we have heard a lot about travel.

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.5 He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.              Luke 2:1-5

jesus-birth travel

The Bible is not written like a novel so we don’t have a detailed play by play of the actual travel but we know that every Jewish household had to register in their tribal capital. That equals a lot of people traveling by foot, donkey, camel and wagon caravan. The trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem would be a grueling 90 miles up and down some treacherous mountain roads.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking,2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”              Matt 2:1-2

TheJourneyOfTheMagi_tkfxdy

These wisemen from the East were astrologers that had obviously studied the Hebrew scripture possibly left by Daniel.  They may have come from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia or Southern Turkey. The distance from Persia to Bethlehem (maybe up to 9000 miles) traveling over varied rugged terrain for months would be so long and tiring. Yet they journeyed on in their quest to seek the Christ Child.

Friend, in the past year did you become weary in your journey?  Did life take unexpected twists and turns that made you feel weak and vulnerable? Do you feel like you have lost your way or that somehow your dream is just too far off to ever reach? God never promised an easy carefree life but He did tell us that we are never alone.  He does promise to give us a renewed vision and the strength to reach our goals step by step when they are in line with His word.

Here are just a few scriptures to hold onto as we begin the New Year:

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Josh 1:9

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.     Prov 3:5-6

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.     Jer 29:11-12

It is my prayer that we all start off the New Year on the right foot and step by step journey into 2020 with confidence and strength in God’s power, protection, and provision for the way.

hope

 

All Scripture quotes in this blog are taken from the New Living Translation