Our family very recently spent a week at the beach at Ft. Morgan, Alabama.... yes, we knew there was oil coming. In fact, we even got a call from the rental people telling us that very thing but we decided this was our family time that we had etched out and we were not going to be denied. Thankfully, we saw no oil. We were blessed with beautiful weather and even sweeter time to spend just with each other.
Our youngest daughter, Grace, came to the beach after a class on Tuesday. She is not very good with directions and was concerned about getting lost. Despite my husband and I giving her directions complete with highway numbers and landmarks, she still wound up borrowing a GPS system from a friend. Grace made it to the beach fine and we road together on the trip home Saturday. On our way back, she wanted me to use the GPS even though she was aware that I knew the way without it. I told her that when visiting prospective adoptive couples or foster parents that I prefer to have written directions from them that give me names of roads and landmarks, such as turn right at the McDonalds or you will pass a large church on the left. Regardless, she plugged in the GPS navigation system anyway and put in our destination (our home). Now many of you have these so I don’t need to explain any of this to you but this thing was totally new to me. It told us what direction to go and how long to travel that way. It also told us how long it should take us for the entire trip. This went fine until we had to stop to get gas and pulled off the road. Then the GPS began telling us to “turn around” and to get back on the original road. When we didn’t, it stated “redirecting” and then told us how to get back to where we needed to be. Then it redirected, calculated how to get home by way of the new “path” we had chosen.
Later, we had to turn off to get something to eat, drink and use the bathroom. Well, same routine of hearing it say “turn around”, “get back on the correct road”. Once we started driving again it would again announce “redirecting” and would proceed to do so. Wow, when we decided to get off the interstate and take some back roads due to horrible traffic the whole system went nuts but soon said “redirecting” and pointed out the way home. Here again the system was showing us that there was still a way to make it to our destination but by a different route.
It didn’t take me long before I pointed out to our daughter how the GPS system is like the word of God and/or his plan for our lives. Trying to find an analogy here (as I attempt to do with so much in life!) I pointed out that once we are believers, we know what our destination is-–Heaven. Once we have received salvation, we are assured that Heaven will be our final destination--Hallelujah!! Yet, while the final destination is the same for all Christians just what life journey we take to get there is that wonderful interplay between us and our Lord. The destination of our eternal home is plugged into our lives just like we plugged in the destination of our home on Grace’s GPS. There is a route that is mapped out by the system (or God’s best plan) and we set out to follow it to the best of our abilities. Before we know it though we are enticed off the path by the things of the world (such as us stopping by a fast food place) and the Holy Spirit cries out to “turn around” to get back on the path that God knows is best. Sometimes we may quickly get back on the path but at other times we make a much longer exit than we should. Then there are many times where we get off the path, take a different route, but still God can “redirect” us taking a path that while it may not be His best plan for us, it is a plan, a path that will still result in the same destination.
Brothers and sisters, hear me say that God knows the plans and has the best plan for our lives, but he gives us free will to determine what route we will chose to travel on our journey through life. Just as the GPS redirects when we veer from the journey it had decided is best, our heavenly Father can still use whatever twists and turns our life takes to his glory. I am reminded of the beautiful story of Joseph where his brothers sold him into slavery as a result of their hatred and jealousy. But God was able to use what man intended for evil for his own good and for the glory of God himself.
Just know that God has a route for each of us and wouldn’t life be great if we always followed that route! Yet, God can take you no matter what road you have wandered down and “redirect” you to arrive one day at your final destination--HOME.
Renee Griffin, LBSW
Domestic Social Worker
Lifeline Foster Parent Coordinator