A Faithful GPS
When I was a student at Biola there was this one semester that I suffered a long season of depression and my grades reflected it. It was nearing the end of the semester and I realized that I wasn't going to pass a few classes and there was nothing I could do about it except go seek help from my professors. So I did, and it was humiliating, just as it is humiliating to even write about it now. I emailed my science professor and I went to meet with my tennis coach (for a General Ed PE class). I told them I had been suffering from depression and I wanted to do whatever I could to get my grades back up.
For the tennis class in particular the reason I was failing was because I wasn't showing up to class. I didn't have to explain to her that when someone is depressed it's hard enough to get out of bed but it feels impossible to get up to exercise, even though that's probably the best thing for you.
And this is one of the reasons I love Biola, my professors graciously heard me and gave me a second chance, even with only weeks left in the semester. I passed science and PE.
My PE coach decided to help me by allowing me to make up classes with her one-on-one on her own time. It was extraordinarily gracious and I'll never forget it. We would serve the ball around, she would help me with my strokes, and she would pass on wisdom as she was very concerned about my mental and spiritual health.
I'll always remember one thing she told me. I can't even remember the context but she was talking about how we live our lives in obedience to Jesus. She said, we live our lives like following a GPS. When you're driving your car and it says "turn right on this avenue," you may have to wait awhile to hear another direction. You may be driving down that very avenue longer than it feels comfortable. Maybe you'll worry "am I supposed to turn yet?" "did I make a wrong turn?" "is the GPS still working?" But when you are following a GPS you have to trust that if it hasn't said anything: it's because you are supposed to keep driving straight.
When we live our lives following Jesus sometimes He leads us somewhere and we may feel like we are waiting for another direction, but the thing is we need to be where we are, be faithful where we are, and trust that He'll tell us what to do next when it's time. Keep driving straight.
When I read today about the Israelites and God's glory in a cloud resting on the tent I was reminded of the GPS analogy. The Israelites were journeying and the analogy of God as a GPS was much more actually accurate for them. They camped when the cloud rested and they moved when the cloud moved. Maybe sometimes they were anxious, impatient, curious "is the GPS still working?" "when are we leaving?" Or maybe they even got frustrated, "we just settled in and now we are leaving again?" There were probably different emotions as there were probably different durations of camping.
But He is such a faithful GPS.
Today at work I was reading a little of the Bible on my break and I was just already having a rough day. I can't exactly put my finger on it but it probably was a little bit of a "is the GPS still working?" kind of feeling. And as weird as this is, while we are on technology metaphors, I had the silly thought that I just wanted to be able to text God right then. I needed His friendship and I needed the confidence that yes, the GPS is still working, He's still here.
So I wrote out a little prayer on the back of my little tiny time card receipt, as a text to God. And it comforted me to just vent a little to my friend. But I landed on one thing, my theme verse lately from Romans: "be joyful in hope, faithful in prayer, and patient in affliction."
I landed on this: trust God. He's a faithful GPS.