My first encounter with a Global Positioning System was in the late 1990s in Annapolis, Maryland. Our son, Coleman, was a patient at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda undergoing protocols of treatment and study in their Infectious Disease and Genetics departments. One weekend, we made a trip to Annapolis to visit Bob and Allene Stoddert whom we had come to know and love during our time serving with the church in Honolulu. The Stodderts lived in a beautiful home right on the water. On Saturday, “Cap’n Bob” took us for a cruise in their boat, and, while I certainly enjoyed the time on the water, I was most enamored with the electronic device mounted near the wheel. The display screen featured a map of the harbor, kept track of our precise position, and even left a line showing where we had been on our jaunt. Amazing! It easily surpassed the euphoria I had experienced earlier in life with things like VCRs and microwave popcorn. This was totally futuristic! Since then, our culture has become GPS-saturated. They have become almost standard on golf carts these days. Kim’s GMC Acadia came equipped with OnStar. And, just last week, we bought Hannah a Garmin for her car as a very late graduation present. The latter purchase was under $200; no monthly service fee, no per-use fees; just unlimited access and directional assistance anywhere in North America. Wow!
While I know that GPS has many complex applications, both military and civilian in nature, for most people it just provides answers to simple but extremely important questions like “Where am I?” and “How do I get to where I want to go?” Spiritually speaking, that is what Scripture (God’s Positioning System) is all about. It is God’s story of who we are (in relation to Who He is), where we are, and how we can get to and spend eternity where He is. Our journey to that destination is described a road, a path, a walk, and a race. Since there are roads that would lead us away from God, we frequently find ourselves in need of guidance and direction to ensure that we are walking in “paths of righteousness.” God has given us His Son, His Spirit, His Scriptures, and His saints to enlighten, guide, convict, correct, and encourage us on the journey. When you feel that you are losing direction and purpose, devote yourself more fully to the disciplines of prayer, fasting, and feeding on the Word of God. Tap into the spiritual resources of our Divinely inspired GPS. When all else fails, ask for directions!