I get into my minivan and attach my phone to its magnetic mount. I type in the address of my destination, even though I had been there just a couple of days before. I know the general route, but I find comfort in having the Google maps lady guide me the whole way. She tells me it’ll take an hour and thirty-five minutes with traffic that’s heavier than usual, so I settle in, turn on a podcast, and start my drive.
I’m about to get on the highway when I go through my mental list of the things I needed to bring with me that day. I rummage through my big purse, checking each item off the list as I touch them. And that’s when I realize I forgot to bring my battery charger for my phone. With my phone dying halfway through the day every day these days, I desperately need to have my battery charger with me wherever I go.
I panic. It’s too late to drive back home, and I know using the maps app and listening to a podcast will drain my battery even faster than usual.
So I do the unthinkable: I close all the apps, and I drive by memory alone and in silence.
How did we navigate the road and keep ourselves company before our phones?! It boggles my mind that this was life not too long ago, and now we can’t imagine driving any distance without these little machines.
I thankfully arrive safely and on time to my destination and have enough battery juice to get me home at the end of the day. I’m weirdly proud of myself for having made it there and back without depending on the Google maps lady.
Pausing my dependence on her for the day made me think of how dependent we often are on the plans we make and the paths we intend to take to get to our final destinations in life. We like to know all the facts of every possible route so we know we’re taking the right ones and the most efficient ones. It helps us feel like we’re in control and prepared for what’s ahead and to know how to respond to the roadblocks we’ll face.
It feels like the responsible thing to do, and most of the time, it is. But when our dependence on our best laid plans and preparation is based on fear and worry over what we can’t control, we leave little room for mystery.
Mystery isn’t something to be afraid of, I’m learning. Mystery is something to be curious about and to welcome. Of course, the unknown can be scary, but mystery is the glint in someone’s eye when they can’t wait to give you the gift you’ve been longing for. Mystery is love waiting for you around the corner. Welcoming mystery means we anticipate goodness and hold out for hope knowing that we have a God who embodies both.
We like to talk about how God is in control and how He has plans for our lives, and these truths help us to stand steady. But we also have a God who is mysterious. The hows and whys of His ways constantly – and for our good – evade our logic, and therefore, we must live by faith. We must trust, and we can trust Him because He is love.
I still like to drive with my Google maps lady telling me where to turn and what highways to take, but after that day of driving without her, I’m okay with not knowing too. I’m more open to finding my way as I’m on my way knowing I’ll eventually get to where I need to go.
Ruth Mills says
Oh Grace, God’s perfect timing in your post! Yesterday I was trusted to read the suicide note from a distant distant cousin I’d never met. She wrote it to assure her mom that she knew her mom had loved her & always done her best. Yet in the myriad health issues she suffered, she had no hope of goodness & the God that loved her. It broke my heart for how brokenhearted she had lived. I wonder if I had met her would I have seen her hopelessness or if she hid it really well. I’ll never know about that what if but it begs the question will I be shining Jesus to others I do meet that they may live in the mystery anticipating goodness & holding out for hope because they know God is love! What a wonderful mystery to live in & share with others!
My anxiety increased just reading this!!! So helpful, though. I have a constant need of reminders that I can trust God and do not have to do it all on my own. It is frustrating that I allow myself to get so overwhelmed and go to God after the fact rather than pray before I embark and get myself in such a state that I cannot think clearly.
Thank you Grace. I am trying to unplug the “Google maps lady” because I realized that while it was much easier to trust her than my God given brain, I still need to exercise this brain! That sometimes leads to mystery in the route I take! In other parts of our life though, I am realizing that God leads and guides us through the mysteries of life just like our phone app does— we just have to give Him control and listen and trust His directions. It sounds so simple, but at least for me, it is always a challenge. Thank you— this really spoke to me today.
I like this, Grace! A good reminder to turn off all the stuff and just be present in the moments.
My certainty about how God works has changed to uncertainty in many areas. Some things just don’t make sense, and knowledgeable people cannot explain these certain things to my satisfaction in a logical way. It was making me crazy and affecting my faith in a negative way. Until 4 months ago I just decided to “Embrace the Mystery” of God. That statement made some of my Christian friends and relatives nervous…. Thank you!
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Grace this post that you have wrote is excellent. One thing you have said how did we managed to get to where we were going when we had no mobiles before they came into being or as I say sat nav in our cars. I hate any thing that talks to me to tell turn right or left at the next road etc. Or a sat nav telling me where to go to get to the destination I am going to. I remember before Mobiles had a Google sat nav on them. I bought a portable sat nav that you plug into were the cigarette lighter with my Husband. Thinking it would be great to know how to get to our Holiday destination. By just typing the name in. Well it drove me especially more so than my Husband nuts. As this voice kept talking every so often to tell us what road to go and when to turn right or left. What to look out for. I remember saying to my Husband don’t like this telling me and you what to do and roads etc to take. It speaking back to us. Yes it did take us where we wanted to go. But I said we will manage without it on way home. What peace it was to not have this voice telling you what roads etc to take. My Husband said as he was driving said it was very distracting. As your trying to watch the road and watch the other vehicles on the roads too. Plus listen to this sat nav. It could cause you have accident. So we never used it again. Then a friend of mines daughter was getting married this was years ago. Her mum asked me if I knew someone with a sat nav her daughter could borrow. As they are going on driving Holiday stopping at different place and exploring them and staying a night or to at them. They thought a sat nav would be handy. To help them for their Honeymoon to get to all the different places they were going. Without having to stop and ask for help to get to a certain place. I said I have one. My friend was so pleased. She can my Daughter borrow it. I said yes. Then the Daughter I told after the Honeymoon that she can keep it as wedding present from me. I told the Daughter’s Mum my friend why. Each person is different my Friends Daughter and her new Husband then loved the sat nav. They found it very handy. They loved it. It took them to all the different places they wanted to go and see. I was so glad to give it to a new home. I never missed it since not did my Husband. I just glad it went to good home. My Husband said the same. I look at way back when I was growing up. When we didn’t have all the technology we have now. We managed the very best. We knew if we needed help in anything we were not afraid to ask. Especially if driving somewhere to go on Holiday. If we got a bit lost we’d stop at house or shop or person walking and ask the person there do you how to get to such and such a place. We communicated with people. It was good to talk to real person. God showed me this a long time ago. How we get we don’t talk that much to people because we are so engrossed in our technical things we have. Like our computers or laptops iPads tablets or phones to look up and find the information we want. We don’t spend the time talking to either. We are to busy on them. We don’t have time to talk. That is sad. As before all the technology came out. We took the time to talk either. God said to me. Less of the technical stuff. Spend more time talking to people and he also said they get they can if we let them get us spending less time with him (God.) That is so true. Yes they are helpful we can learn alot from them. They are useful at times. But don’t God said let them get they become they take over and your spending more time on them. Than talking to people and spending time with them. Plus less time with me God said. I had to agree with God on this. So I only do what I need on things like my phone and tablet. I try to spend more time with God and talking with people. I have friend she will tell you if going out in the car with her. Before you go she will say get all texting or all you need to do on your phone’s done now. So as not using them when in car with me full stop. Then she say all mobiles away switch them of only have on if you need them on if someone in family not well or in Hospital that ok she tell you. Other wise switch them of. Especially if going out for a nice meal. We go out for meal to chat to either and enjoy eithers company. Not every so often checking your phone or sitting texting someone back if the text you she say. You can check you mobile when get home and then text someone back if they texted you she say. She is so right my friend. It is nice to go out with friends or family for a meal and not be every so often looking at you mobile and texting someone if they texted you. It nice to chat the people you are our for meal with for a we while forget about the mobile. Enjoy their company. I have to agree with my friend on this. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx
Beth Williams says
Jesus calls us blessed who believe by faith not sight or hearing. John 20:29 Then Jesus told Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” We have to have faith & trust in God. Most of us want to know the next steps in our journey. We want it all mapped out right in front of us-like Thomas. Jesus asks us to embrace the mystery of His ways & timing. Trust Him with everything.