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.