Thursday, March 24, 2011

God is our spiritual GPS

By Jeanette Arnquist
Director, Ministry of Life, Dignity and Justice

A couple of weeks ago I flew to northern California for a meeting.  One of my colleagues picked me up at the airport for the drive to the retreat center where the meeting was going to take place.  I had been there before and he had a GPS in his car which dictated every turn.  But we were talking, and being attentive to each other.  So even though the GPS voice was telling him to get off the freeway and my inner sense of direction should have been doing the same, we missed the exit.

But the GPS lady recalculated, and now aware of our error, we listened closely and arrived at the destination in time for lunch.

I think this is the way it is with God.  God is constantly sending us signals, either through our own memory or intuition or through voices around us.  But when we are preoccupied, we miss the signals.  So many times in the last few months I have acted on an impulse or an intuition and it has “saved” me.  For example, last December my husband and I took our Christmas break in Peru, visiting our daughter and her family.  About three weeks before I began to gather all of the important things we would need for the trip.  And I don’t just mean toys for Zach.  I mean things like print outs of our airline tickets and passports. 

Now I knew where the passports were – safely tucked into a locking file cabinet.  But the electronic tickets were buried somewhere in an email from 6 months before.  So I knew it would take a bit of digging to fine them.  While my husband was searching his inbox, I was looking for something in my closet and a purse I rarely use fell off the hook.  I picked it up.  It was heavy – not a good sign.  Guess what was in it?  Right – the passports!  Thank you, God.

What happens when we miss the signals from God?  Well, my experience is that God is every bit as faithful as the GPS lady.  If we miss one message or messenger, God will send another, attempting time and again to overcome our blindness, deafness and stubbornness.

So this Lent I am listening for the voice of God asking me to recalculate.

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