Proceed To The Route

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“Proceed to the route,” and it’s with those words that you probably want to throw your phone out the window. Instead, I opt for talking back to the Apple Maps voice that rudely blares through my car speakers, usually saying something along the lines of “I KNOW,” or “SHUT UP,” before making my choice of direction. I don’t know what it is about that voice that just drives me insane. Something tells me it’s probably a mix of being told what to do by a simple phone app and the rhythm (or lack thereof) of the digital, AI-sounding smart aleck.

The truth, though? I don’t know what I would do without that GPS app. Sure, I could read a map…maybe…? [Becca’s editor here, she can’t. Love u girl.] But the accuracy and convenience of essentially having a map of the entire world in your hand always wins the battle. With a few clicks and swipes, you can find a location with directions, see their hours of operation, a link to their website, a phone number, and maybe a few reviews. It’s helpful, practical, and usually right on the money when it comes to navigating a driver through traffic or construction. That is, only if it is allowed to do so.

Just a few weeks ago I was on the road to my parent’s house from where I live, which is about a two hour drive if you go the speed limit. This is a drive that I have taken many times and know it very well. Which is why I was surprised to suddenly find myself headed in the wrong direction and on a completely wrong highway. Instead of heading North, I was now heading East, straight for Arkansas. Even now, I honestly have no idea how I managed to get myself on this highway. All I can remember is listening to a podcast while heading North on HW169 and then looking up to find myself on US412, a highway I hadn’t driven on in years. To say I was startled is a bit of an understatement. It concerned me that I was able to mysteriously end up on a completely different road without any recollection of getting there. 

After telling a friend about this little incident, her answer was simply, “Aliens,” and that was the end of that conversation. 

I knew I hadn’t been abducted by aliens only to be dropped back down in my little Spark on a different freeway. No, it was nothing fantastical. Drive time has always been my thinking time, and sometimes it’s the only alone time I get when my weeks are crazy and I’m go-go-going from ‘A’ to ‘B’ to ‘X’.  So, with that tidbit, I knew I had simply escaped a little too far into my cognition zone.

Irritated that I hadn’t paid enough attention, I got off on the next exit. Remembering that if I took the road to the North I could drive a few miles down the main road and take the back roads to my parents house, I turned left. If I’ve driven a road at least once I can usually remember how to get to it again, so I was confident that I would at least make it into the right town. But, it had been nearly 10 years since I had even driven on the road, so I quickly whipped out my iPhone and set my destination. Using my GPS as a guide, I headed down the generally familiar road. As I got further out into the country, that annoying GPS kept telling me to turn left. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, so I kept driving, ignoring the protesting voice coming through my car speakers. 

Again, the Maps voice told me to turn left. Again, I ignored her and kept driving. Literally every time there was a left turn available, Maps told me to take the turn, and every time, I would ignore her and keep driving. 

I was starting to get aggravated when I saw the construction up ahead. 

The end of the road was completely blocked off. Heavy duty equipment was everywhere. I got as close as I could to see if I could get through, which wasn’t far since they had concrete barriers up well before the construction began. The road I needed to get to was just on the other side of the construction. I couldn’t go anywhere else. The parking lots of the shops nearby didn’t connect so I couldn’t just go around it. I had no other choice but to turn around. I knew that if I turned around and went back in the same direction that I came, it would double my time and I was already late. 

The guidance voice had me turn around and take a right in a mile. I took the next immediate right, not caring to wait a whole mile. 

It was a dead end. 

Now, by this point I was so irritated that I was ready to just shut the whole thing off and drive blindly down every road until I found my way back to the highway. 

Just like that, I felt so silly. It was ME that turned down a road and ignored the instructions of the GPS. It was ME that thought I knew better. I had a plan in mind of where I needed to go and how I should get there. I asked for help, but, when help was provided, it didn’t go the way I wanted to, so I became angry at an inanimate object. 

God couldn’t have been speaking any louder if He had a megaphone. I got the message loud and clear. 

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Okay. Yeah. It’s a bit stereotypical. But, it hit like a ton of bricks.

Do you trust me to lead you?’

It rang through my spirit and into my heart. Right there, in the middle of nowhere, me and Jesus had a heart to heart moment where He revealed to me just how stubborn I was. 

All along, I’ve had a certain destination in mind and my own way of getting there, too. I’d go this way and that; bypass this “roadblock” and speed through yellow lights all the way; avoid the highways and take the backroads. But in doing this, I took the control out of God’s hands and put it into my own. I controlled the turns, the direction, and the speed. 

God called me there, right? That was my mindset. 

But just like I couldn’t see the construction on the road to my parent’s house, I couldn’t see the roadblock that would stop me from going forward at all. 

So, I was forced to turn around and take the road that God had planned for me all along. Had I simply took the “left turn” when He spoke it, I would have already made it to where He wanted me to be. 

I’m reminded of a skit that was done years ago while still in the church youth group. It portrayed a young person giving the “throne”  (aka a folding chair) of their life to Jesus but taking it back whenever they wanted to. 

“You can sit here Jesus, but when it’s time to pray, I want the chair back because I’d really rather be doing anything else.”

“You can sit here until you tell me to do something I don’t want to and then I’m taking over.”

 I remember the skit itself being hilarious, but it always stuck with me. 

Will we let Jesus take control? Do we really want him to take the wheel? Lookin’ at you, Carrie Underwood. 

Some of us are backseat drivers, yelling at the driver’s seat to “go a better direction,” “speed up,” “slow down,” all while droning on and on and on about how we should have been the one driving.  Everyone else simply climbs over the center console to hop in the driver’s seat, forcing the Driver to get out. 

Why do we do that? Why do we believe that we can get to our destination faster than if we allowed God to move us there?

I was wondering this same thing myself. We know that God knows our end from the beginning. We know He works all things out for the good for them that love Him. So, why do we try to take over?

Fear. I heard it clear as day. 

We take control because we’re afraid it won’t go as planned. We fear that the end destination won’t be what we pictured in our future. It’s human nature to fear the unknown, it’s the easy thing to do. 

But, if we take a step back, we can remember that God knows all things. He sees the end, he sees every twist, every turn, and every roadblock.

Now, we’re back in my car, which is famously called a “toy car” by everyone who knows me, and I physically took my hands off the wheel. I took that moment to say, “Okay, God. You take over. You get me where I need to go. I trust you, I trust your plan, I trust your timing. I will have peace in your will for my life. Wherever you want me to go, that’s where I’m going.”

I’ve never forgotten that moment. It has forever been embedded in my memory. Anytime I begin to question how things are going in my life – namely the timing of everything – I simply remember that I’ve let go of control and let God take over. 

Together, let’s allow God to move in our lives and take us to places we could never go on our own. 

The truth, though? I don’t know what I would do without that GPS app. Sure, I could read a map…maybe…? [Becca’s editor here, she can’t. Love u girl.] But the accuracy and convenience of essentially having a map of the entire world in your hand always wins the battle. With a few clicks and swipes, you can find a location with directions, see their hours of operation, a link to their website, a phone number, and maybe a few reviews. It’s helpful, practical, and usually right on the money when it comes to navigating a driver through traffic or construction. That is, only if it is allowed to do so.

Just a few weeks ago I was on the road to my parent’s house from where I live, which is about a two hour drive if you go the speed limit. This is a drive that I have taken many times and know it very well. Which is why I was surprised to suddenly find myself headed in the wrong direction and on a completely wrong highway. Instead of heading North, I was now heading East, straight for Arkansas. Even now, I honestly have no idea how I managed to get myself on this highway. All I can remember is listening to a podcast while heading North on HW169 and then looking up to find myself on US412, a highway I hadn’t driven on in years. To say I was startled is a bit of an understatement. It concerned me that I was able to mysteriously end up on a completely different road without any recollection of getting there. 

After telling a friend about this little incident, her answer was simply, “Aliens,” and that was the end of that conversation. 

I knew I hadn’t been abducted by aliens only to be dropped back down in my little Spark on a different freeway. No, it was nothing fantastical. Drive time has always been my thinking time, and sometimes it’s the only alone time I get when my weeks are crazy and I’m go-go-going from ‘A’ to ‘B’ to ‘X’.  So, with that tidbit, I knew I had simply escaped a little too far into my cognition zone.

Irritated that I hadn’t paid enough attention, I got off on the next exit. Remembering that if I took the road to the North I could drive a few miles down the main road and take the back roads to my parents house, I turned left. If I’ve driven a road at least once I can usually remember how to get to it again, so I was confident that I would at least make it into the right town. But, it had been nearly 10 years since I had even driven on the road, so I quickly whipped out my iPhone and set my destination. Using my GPS as a guide, I headed down the generally familiar road. As I got further out into the country, that annoying GPS kept telling me to turn left. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, so I kept driving, ignoring the protesting voice coming through my car speakers. 

Again, the Maps voice told me to turn left. Again, I ignored her and kept driving. Literally every time there was a left turn available, Maps told me to take the turn, and every time, I would ignore her and keep driving. 

I was starting to get aggravated when I saw the construction up ahead. 

The end of the road was completely blocked off. Heavy duty equipment was everywhere. I got as close as I could to see if I could get through, which wasn’t far since they had concrete barriers up well before the construction began. The road I needed to get to was just on the other side of the construction. I couldn’t go anywhere else. The parking lots of the shops nearby didn’t connect so I couldn’t just go around it. I had no other choice but to turn around. I knew that if I turned around and went back in the same direction that I came, it would double my time and I was already late. 

The guidance voice had me turn around and take a right in a mile. I took the next immediate right, not caring to wait a whole mile. 

It was a dead end. 

Now, by this point I was so irritated that I was ready to just shut the whole thing off and drive blindly down every road until I found my way back to the highway. 

Just like that, I felt so silly. It was ME that turned down a road and ignored the instructions of the GPS. It was ME that thought I knew better. I had a plan in mind of where I needed to go and how I should get there. I asked for help, but, when help was provided, it didn’t go the way I wanted to, so I became angry at an inanimate object. 

God couldn’t have been speaking any louder if He had a megaphone. I got the message loud and clear. 

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Okay. Yeah. It’s a bit stereotypical. But, it hit like a ton of bricks.

Do you trust me to lead you?’

It rang through my spirit and into my heart. Right there, in the middle of nowhere, me and Jesus had a heart to heart moment where He revealed to me just how stubborn I was. 

All along, I’ve had a certain destination in mind and my own way of getting there, too. I’d go this way and that; bypass this “roadblock” and speed through yellow lights all the way; avoid the highways and take the backroads. But in doing this, I took the control out of God’s hands and put it into my own. I controlled the turns, the direction, and the speed. 

God called me there, right? That was my mindset. 

But just like I couldn’t see the construction on the road to my parent’s house, I couldn’t see the roadblock that would stop me from going forward at all. 

So, I was forced to turn around and take the road that God had planned for me all along. Had I simply took the “left turn” when He spoke it, I would have already made it to where He wanted me to be. 

I’m reminded of a skit that was done years ago while still in the church youth group. It portrayed a young person giving the “throne”  (aka a folding chair) of their life to Jesus but taking it back whenever they wanted to. 

“You can sit here Jesus, but when it’s time to pray, I want the chair back because I’d really rather be doing anything else.”

“You can sit here until you tell me to do something I don’t want to and then I’m taking over.”

 I remember the skit itself being hilarious, but it always stuck with me. 

Will we let Jesus take control? Do we really want him to take the wheel? Lookin’ at you, Carrie Underwood. 

Some of us are backseat drivers, yelling at the driver’s seat to “go a better direction,” “speed up,” “slow down,” all while droning on and on and on about how we should have been the one driving.  Everyone else simply climbs over the center console to hop in the driver’s seat, forcing the Driver to get out. 

Why do we do that? Why do we believe that we can get to our destination faster than if we allowed God to move us there?

I was wondering this same thing myself. We know that God knows our end from the beginning. We know He works all things out for the good for them that love Him. So, why do we try to take over?

Fear. I heard it clear as day. 

We take control because we’re afraid it won’t go as planned. We fear that the end destination won’t be what we pictured in our future. It’s human nature to fear the unknown, it’s the easy thing to do. 

But, if we take a step back, we can remember that God knows all things. He sees the end, he sees every twist, every turn, and every roadblock.

Now, we’re back in my car, which is famously called a “toy car” by everyone who knows me, and I physically took my hands off the wheel. I took that moment to say, “Okay, God. You take over. You get me where I need to go. I trust you, I trust your plan, I trust your timing. I will have peace in your will for my life. Wherever you want me to go, that’s where I’m going.”

I’ve never forgotten that moment. It has forever been embedded in my memory. Anytime I begin to question how things are going in my life – namely the timing of everything – I simply remember that I’ve let go of control and let God take over. 

Together, let’s allow God to move in our lives and take us to places we could never go on our own. 

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