The first time I went to the California Speedway, my “navigator” use intuition and sense of where we were on the planet. We, he, did not need any consulting. Maps were not relevant. We didn’t turn over our parking sticker to see if there was anything printed for our edification. We did not seek, ask, or accept the advice of strangers – including the traffic cops presents for instruction and guidance. We were operating on our own. Eventually we arrived.
Last Sunday, Whitney played the role of navigator in our journey to the Speedway and the spring stock-car race. She outlined the instructions we had on the ticket. She assessed the detailed map with the visual references. She oriented herself to the streets, making sure I understood how much progress we were making towards our goal. We arrived well before my expectations! We always knew where we were, where we were going, and carried a sense of when we would arrive.
Far too many people come to New York with the belief they know where they are going. Manhattan cannot be that confusing. Subways are easy to navigate. One cannot get lost. As a result, individuals heading uptown end up in Brooklyn. Individuals going to midtown find themselves in Queens on the first stop. Even well informed veterans inadvertently choose an express over a local. In each case, there is a discovery of a new parts of the city, and one is, at least for a while, lost.
Spiritually, I find myself travelling in life thinking I know where I am going, don’t need any help, and that the process isn’t difficult. I am wrong, wrong, and again wrong. Even as I recognize my responsibilities as a father, I walk in danger, ignorance, and stupidity. Fortunately, God’s knows this and offers us a promise; “Don't be afraid: I'm with you. I'll round up all your scattered children, pull them in from east and west. I'll send orders north and south: ‘'Send them back. Return my sons from distant lands, my daughters from faraway places.” (Isaiah 43.5, 6)
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