I recently joined a new writing group. It’s about half-an-hour’s drive from where I live, so I knew roughly where I was going – but not exactly.
“No problem,” said Hubby, “you can take my car and use the sat-nav.”
A sat-nav can be useful, but ours is also incredibly bossy. In fact, we have been tempted at times to name it (her?) after a former acquaintance of ours who always had fixed views about how things should be done. Naturally, I take a perverse delight in ignoring the instructions if I think I know a better way – so when the sat-nav said “Turn left after 150 yards”, I carried straight on. This happened at least three times in the first 20 minutes, leading to increasingly icy commands to “Make a U-turn if possible”, followed by sulky silences when I didn’t comply.
(Look where following a sat-nav gets you.)
As I neared my destination, however, I entered unfamiliar territory. My semblance of defiance was replaced with trusting obedience as I attempted to navigate the last couple of miles.
I was almost there when disaster struck.
“Take the next turning on the right,” said my guide, who seemed to have forgiven my earlier rudeness. I dutifully slowed down and flicked the indicator on – only to discover that the road in question had been closed by the police.
That’s okay, I thought. If I continue, she’ll find me an alternative route.
I drove on, waiting for words of wisdom.
“Make a U-turn if possible”, said the voice. I refused. If I did that, she’d only direct me up the same (still closed) street.
“Make a U-turn if possible.” I’m sure I could detect a note of smugness now. I didn’t have a clue where I was going, and it didn’t appear as if the sat-nav was going to help me.
I’m sure that sometimes we treat the Holy Spirit like a sat-nav. We ask for guidance – but then do our own thing anyway. Jesus promised that his Spirit would be with us forever, and would “lead us into all truth” – so why do we so often think that we know best? What’s more, we can be sure that when we do genuinely trust him to direct us, he won’t let us down .
And yes, I did get there eventually. I pulled into a side road, stopped the car and prayed – and then under the seat found an extended A-to-Z that covered the area I was trying to get to. God has a sense of humour, too…