We were about to leave for home after an enjoyable family celebration. Unfortunately our GPS decided not to work, so a friend found an app on our phone and set it up. We already had a route in mind, but the ‘App-GPS-person’ had other ideas!
It was okay for a while, but then she said, ‘Turn left at the fork’. She sounded so caring and personal, but I’ve read that the owner of the voice can’t actually see us on the road! We ignored the directions and took a way we were sure would eventually lead us home. The suburb had once been familiar to us many years before, but now the roads looked different, and the surroundings were built-up, unlike the quiet, pleasant streets we’d known sixty years ago!
All our problems began at that busy fork in the road. We were already in the wrong lane, and before we knew it, we were heading down the incorrect tine of that fork. The heavy traffic prevented us from going back, so we had no choice but to keep on, hoping to find a quick way to our original ‘shortcut!’ The weather was humid, so we had the car window down and ‘the voice’ was drowned out by the noise on the congested road. However, without our permission, a whole half-hour had just been added to our 45-minute trip! I was about to learn a few life-lessons on this journey!
At that fork, we had no conception that we were making a choice! There was no opportunity to deliberate before we took the wrong road. We should have made allowances for tiredness, deafness… and presumption! We thought we knew the road, but ‘progress’ had altered the old ways! How dare it! Yes, these problems were all related to a change in our age! We’d never been this vintage before!! You could call it the ‘too-many-birthdays-syndrome’ – TMBS. (I hope that acronym doesn’t stand for anything obnoxious!) In any case, this TMBS can reduce our ability to think quickly.
On this trip, we were now being given ‘correction-instructions’. Well, we ignored them too! This trip was becoming a bit of a joke: an argument between us and the GPS. Of course, we knew best! After all, didn’t they realise that we were older and had more experience in driving?
Looking back, it’s amazing how much more ‘intelligent’ I am since I meditated on these matters, and related them to my life. I’ve been drawing connections between this fork-in-the-road experience and the information God’s given me over the years. I’d even recorded it in various diaries and notebooks, but this time, I’d forgotten to refer to it for the current part of my journey. Many lessons in life are repetitive. Have you noticed that handy hint? We’re often heading for a ‘fork’, and if we’d only think ahead at the beginning, before we begin to move onto the road, we might make a decision of value. Yes, value: keep calm! Listening, admitting our fallibility, giving space to the age we occupy in life, and most importantly, being aware that God has sent his Holy Spirit to be our loving Guide. He’s had a Global Positioning System in operation forever! And with him, we’ll retain our serenity. What peace!
I’m sure the Apostle Paul stood before many forks on his journeys. He wrote to the church at Philippi: …in all your prayers, ask God for what you need … with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus ~ Philippians 4: 6-7.