My dad and I took a trip to Wisconsin to spend time on ATV trails. He had been on many of them before, at least some parts of them. I hadn’t. He’s a planner, so he had ample trail maps, plus a GPS (which, thankfully wasn’t dependent on cell reception, since we were basically in no-phone-land). Neither of us are directionally-challenged, but those trails made slight turns this way and that until…without the GPS, I would have guessed wrong on the direction we were headed, at least, on the cold, rainy day. On that day, it was especially important we knew we were going, because we had limited daylight hours and over a hundred miles to cover.
Dad had the GPS right in front of him, and I had the map, protected from the rain in a plastic bag. I’d peek around his shoulder to compare the map with what I saw on the GPS. A couple times, early in our ride that day, we’d approach an intersection, and I’d pause. It felt like we should go one way, but according to the map, my instincts weren’t right.
How could I argue with the map? Well, I could if I was stubborn (which I sometimes am), but I was motivated to choose well, because wrong choices meant more cold, more wetness, and less sunlight. One phrase came to mind:
Trust the map.
It’s not the only map I (and you) need to trust. There are times I feel like I should go one way, but I haven’t prayed about it. I haven’t checked in God’s Word. I’m just “pretty sure” I know what He would have me do. Of course, sometimes the choice is obvious, just like turning toward or away from water made directional choices obvious on the ATV trails. But there are a lot of times when both options look pretty good. And maybe they’ll both get me to the same place. But the destination isn’t the only factor; the journey is important, too.
I won’t always understand exactly where I am and why. I won’t always know how one path prepares me for another or protects me from something. But I don’t have to know or understand it all. In fact, I can’t, even if I wanted. God does, and He gives me directions, promptings and cautions. I don’t always pay attention as closely as I should, but I need to…
Trust His map.