What to Keep, What to Prune

photo-1527824786100-2787b7fdc674I saw two cars pulled onto a country road that crossed the busier highway. A young man leaned out the window to see the map an older man was pointing to. I wondered how often the younger man had actually seen or used a map. (Of course, that’s stereotyping on my part. I know a fifth grader who probably knows more about maps than most adults.) I assume technology had failed, and the younger driver had no GPS access. At least there was a backup – someone to help who had an optional tool to use.

Technology is certainly nice, but sometimes it doesn’t work.

It’s not just technology. Sometimes the new things that we wholeheartedly believe we can live by are not the things we can fall back on. Plus, just because something is old doesn’t make it trustworthy. (Consider the amount of maps in circulation that haven’t been updated with new roads, boundaries, or even countries.) Do we leave the old behind because we’re convinced whatever new gadget, relationship, or belief will save us time, heartache, and confusion? Do we cling to the old without considering what needs to change about it? Either way, we’ll miss out. Authentic growth includes both keeping and pruning. It will always involve some sort of change, not determined by our own desire of comfort or happiness but with discernment, a pure search for truth.

How willing are you to seek the right road even when you’re not sure why you’re on it, even when you need to stay on it longer than you prefer or get off it sooner than you prefer? How willing are you to listen to others and help others? How willing are you to yield to the instructions of someone more knowledgeable than you? After all, you did not create the map, you don’t update the map, and you aren’t the voice of your navigation system.

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