"Please follow the highlighted route." That's what Colin, my GPS system says to me (in a British accent) as I finish plugging in where I'm going and hit the "done" button. Then, well, the fun starts.
I have lived in Southern California for over 20 years. Really. Yet, with Colin I've experienced more side roads and routes than I thought imaginable. For example: Did you know you can get to St. Mary's in Mariposa heading north on the 5 Freeway from Irvine by exiting at Garfield? Yes, you go through Vernon, the LA garment district, skirt down town (all on side streets) -- but you get to St. Mary's. Really. Honest.
When traffic looks heavy ahead, Colin will call out to me, "traffic heavy ahead -- diverting". If I decide NOT to divert with Colin, he calls out: "recalculating, recalculating, recalculating." I think sometimes I frustrate Colin. More often than not, I follow his directions. More often than not, I scratch my head as I am "diverted" into neighborhoods I've never been through, off the beaten path, into the unknown. "This can't be right" I often say to myself. Yet, Colin IS right -- he hasn't failed me yet!
I was wondering today as I was wandering from the 405 to the 5 (trying to get to the Cathedral Center from Newport Beach) when Colin "diverted" me up Studebaker over to Firestone then to Lakewood THEN to the 5 and up to the 101 -- isn't this a metaphor for our spiritual journey? The faith journey isn't a "straight shot" -- there are all SORTS of "diversions" that happen to us, taking us places we've never been and encountering areas that we SHOULD see. Our faith journey demands of us that we trust enough to follow a path that we may be unsure of -- and to know that we will make it to our next destination. And there WILL be a next destination, and a destination after that -- after all, it is a journey. It's not a once-and-forever event. We constantly change and grow, and our journey helps takes us to that next place we need to go to.
I trust Colin will get me to where I need to go. The first few times he sent me off the freeway or through areas I was unfamiliar with, I thought to myself, "what the heck?" -- I was tense. Now, I'm relaxed, knowing that I will eventually get to where I need to be. It's not always going to be a straight shot -- there will be twists and turns, but I'll get there. I just relax and listen to the current book in my cd player, and say prayers of thanksgiving as I go through new neighborhoods throughout Southern California.
Thank you, Colin! Thank you, Jesus!