Something about road trips that takes me back to my single days. I loved getting in the car with my music, my snacks (never forget the snacks), my itinerary and hitting the open road. There was something about the idea of being alone with my thoughts, with God, that just made me feel brave and excited and adventurous.
I don’t do a lot of that since being married. Oh, we go on road trips together, but that scenario I described above? Yeah, that’s not our road trips. For my husband, it is all about ‘the race.’ How fast can we get there and how jealous can he make everyone else on the road with his adept, Nascar-like driving skills. [Even the cop is silently admiring his skills when he is pulling us over. That’s why we just got a warning, J insists.]
So this weekend, it was my single-girl-days-throwback. I drove from Long Island to PA to see an old high school friend and then to go to a Kari Jobe concert. It’s only a 4 1/2 hour trip, but every minute of that trip took me back in time. I swear I was 23 by the time I got there.
And for some reason, I think my car is God’s favorite place to talk to me. Maybe because in forced solitude, there is only so much that I can be distracted with.
So, I was driving to Robyn’s, and while I had been to this area before, I had never been to her house nor her town. I ‘sort of’ knew where it was…but not really. So, I loaded the address in my iPhone and let the British girl inside do the rest.
Normally, my Type-A self would want to see the map myself so I had a sense of direction, would know if Google-Girl steered me wrong, would have my bearings. But honestly, I was just so excited to be able to go on this trip that I decided to trust her.
I was good until about I-81, but after that, I really had no idea where she was taking me. I wasn’t really looking at the screen; I just waited for her to chime in about a mile before a turn. As it got closer, there was a second announcement, but overall, it worked really smoothly, and I made it to Robyn’s without really knowing where I was going.
And this is where God started talking to me. I felt like He was saying that following Him is really like following Google-Girl (well, minus the accent, although I suppose He could sound like that if He wanted to). So many times, I want God to not only tell me where I am going, but how we are going to get there. Sometime He shares with me where we are going, but not how we are getting there. Sometimes, neither.
But, I really sensed that God just wanted me to trust Him like I trusted British Google-Girl. I really was content to let her do all the work, all the worrying, all the navigating. I just wanted to chill out, listen to music, talk to God and sort my thoughts. With her steering, I could. I didn’t have to worry about where I was going or how I’d get there; it was all programmed in. I just had to listen to her voice.
Same with God. I really think He wants us to enjoy letting Him navigate. We really don’t need to know where He is taking us. We don’t need to know how we are going to get there. We just need to listen, and He’ll let us know. And I’ve found that the most peaceful times in my life have been when I was on a ‘need-to-know’ basis with God.
What if I missed a turn? Not a big deal with Google-Girl. That actually did happen once on this trip. I wanted to remember a few thoughts, and I didn’t know how/where voice memo was on my phone. Instead, I decided to just turn on the video recorder, record my right thigh and the steering column so I could record my voice. While I did this, my GPS somehow paused. When I realized this, I missed my turn. No problem – Google-Girl just announced, ‘Re-routing.’ Simple.
And God started talking again. So, in life, I’m cruising along, trying to follow His leading. What if, in following God, I screw up? I miss it? I make a mistake, a wrong choice, a rebellious decision? This, by the way, is my most neurotic and plaguing fear. Without getting into any kind of discussion about whether this is theologically possible, for me, this fear is the one that haunts and sometimes paralyzes me: what if I miss God’s will?
I’m all for doing our due diligence in trying to hear from God, doing our best to obey, quieting ourselves to get His direction. But we aren’t perfect. We aren’t going to hit the bull’s-eye of God’s will 100% of the time. And you know what? I really think it is okay (You have no idea how long it has taken me to get to the point where I can say that).
He knows our hearts. He knows where He wants us to go. We might make a wrong turn that takes us off the ‘best’ way from point A to point B, but our missed turn doesn’t mean we’ll never get to point B. Just means we might take a different route to get there.
Maybe it’s longer; maybe there’s more traffic, some roadwork delays. Maybe the scenary isn’t as beautiful. But, God can easily announce, ‘Re-routing’ and still get us back on track. Ultimately His plan for us will be fulfilled. Even if we mess up. He knew about the wrong turn and even the re-routing before we ever screwed up. And I think that He even factors that into the ETA.
So the big lesson for me – maybe for you, too – is relax. Enjoy the trip. Listen to your music, eat your snacks, talk to God, get alone with your thoughts. He’ll make sure you get there.
[Photo Credit: Wikipedia]