Better than GPS

I like to tell people the best thing about smart phones is that they have GPS. Honestly, I do not know if I would travel so much, if my smartphone didn’t have the capability. I brag about my navigation prowess, but in reality I am dependent on an interactive Google map and a robotic voice to get me to a destination. Without GPS I would drive around in circles for hours, and probably be ten minutes away from the correct destination. Rarely, do I visit a destination without my handy smartphone to guide me. I wish in life, I relied on God like I rely on my GPS. Most of the time I take the “wing it on my own” approach, because I believe I can do it, but honestly who am I kidding? I usually fall harder than a kid riding without his bike training wheels for the first. Thankfully, after my rather humbling moments, God is still there to put me back on the right path.

It was three minor events that led me to a Peter sinking moment (The moment Peter takes his eyes off Jesus and he starts to drown. The story is in Matthew, Chapter 14). Now that I think back, I must admit I got cocky. I made the mistake of unconsciously thinking I only needed Jesus for the big bad times. I thought “I got this. Let em’ at me!” Unfortunately, while I was dancing around marveling at my own self-control and independence, I left myself to a great fall that even Humpty Dumpty couldn’t replicate. I couldn’t write, sleep, pray, or read the Bible. I spent most of time and thoughts with worrying, anxiously. I also ate (I even broke my minimalist cooking habits to make chocolate chip cookies for my worry marathon.)

This is the scenic view I had walking to and from our retreat sessions. The view reminded me of who God is.

That was my state of mind when I arrived at the Single’s Retreat at my church. I was confused, unsure, and paralyzed by fear of the unknown, of what I was helpless to control. Even worship and the speaker’s words, I used as arrows to turn on myself. Instead of being encouraged or finding hope, I would think “What in the world does that have to do me with me and my problems?” Then I would think “What are you doing? There are people with bigger problems then you. Seriously, why can’t you just move one? Maybe you are just a narcissistic millennial like the data says. Your problems are scratches. Why are you whining about scratches?”

I was a car spinning in mud. The more I tried to escape the mire, the more I became entrenched in my own pity. The last night, I was having a full out war with myself. I couldn’t concentrate. On the outside I wore a grin, but inside I wondered “What is the point? I don’t deserve to be here. I am unworthy, dirty, broken, selfish. How can anyone possibly want me?” A silent retreat from worship sounded like a good idea, but then the final song of the night came on. I don’t remember the specific song, but it spoke of God taking us as we are, and willing and ready to take up our burdens no matter how small. He was ready and waiting for me to remember that. In that moment I did, and the wheels in my mind stopped spinning.

The next morning I was able to pray. It wasn’t an eloquent prayer by any means. It was simple and rambled on but it started with “God tell me that I am going to be okay,” and ended with “God help me.”

Nothing has really changed since my prayer, consequentially. It’s the usual beautiful chaos of life, I just refocused back on what matters and gave the wheel back to the one who knows how to drive and where to go.

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