One of the first times I used my GPS was on a trip to visit my cousin in another state. I am a late-comer to this technology. My two adult daughters were accompanying me, and before we departed, they showed me how to pull up the GPS and ask the Very Knowledgeable Lady who lives in it how to get to our destination.
“How?” I asked my tech-savvy offspring.
“Just ask Siri,” they told me.
I did ask Siri, and – wonder of wonders – a magical map appeared that pinpointed my exact location (which was kind of scary.) I then told her the address of my cousin’s house and the entire 200-mile route to her house appeared with my journey clearly marked.
“Take a left on Highway 17,” The Very Knowledgeable Lady helpfully chirped. “And take exit 12 in 70 miles.”
I laid my cell phone down on the console and drove in awe as we traveled the thick blue route line. We were the little digital thumb tack on the screen, chugging down the road! Here’s where it got interesting.
Several times on the trip, I picked up the phone to make sure Siri knew what she was doing, even though I did not know the way myself! And although I had no reason to distrust the voice telling me where to go to arrive in the most efficient manner, I even stopped at a fast food place when we arrived in the destination city to ask for directions to her street!
My kids kept telling me, “Mom, just follow the route already mapped out.”
It has to be more complicated than that, I thought.
Have you ever trusted Siri to get you someplace and ended up somewhere else? That happens too. Once I drove six hours to attend a Blogger Conference in the mountains of North Carolina and instead of taking me to my Hampton Inn late at night, it led me down a dark road to what appeared to have been an old, abandoned sock factory. Really. It was in middle of nowhere! When I pulled in to reboot the GPS, The (not so) Knowledgeable Lady tried to save face with her response.
“Rerouting.” Like she meant to do that.
Although she had mistakenly taken me someplace else, she then had to re-route because my starting point was different from where I’d left six hours prior.
There are many, many routes to take on the recovery journey. Re-routing is always a possibility. The two important things to remember when continuing to take your personal inventory is to keep moving in a forward direction and don’t back-track and return to bad places. Promptly admit when you are lost.
In the GPS analogy of the tenth step, you can replace the Very Knowledgeable Lady in the cell phone to God Himself, who is more than happy to direct your path if you allow him to.
But you have to ask. And keep asking. He will not take you to a dark place (or an abandoned sock factory, for that matter) You have to ask, and you have to trust that His direction is perfect.
Throughout the previous work of Steps 1-9, you have pinpointed your exact location (and that can be a little scary, too.) The tenth step is insurance that we don’t revisit the dangerous places that led us down the wrong paths, even though our journeys are not always so clearly marked out.
It has to be more complicated than that, right?
When do you arrive?
That is of less importance, everyone’s route is different. Don’t you see? We were absolutely built to travel – collecting wisdom and experience and fellowship and memories along the way.
And to walk in joy every step of the way.