Jean Newell, Associate Pastor, Sun Lakes United Methodist Church
My father had an innate sense of direction. I’ve often wondered if it came from his being raised on a dirt farm in Kansas. It could be pitch black at night with not a star in the sky, and he could tell you which direction was which. I may have been born in Kansas, about 20 miles from where Dad grew up, but when it comes to a sense of direction, there are days I have problems with telling my right from my left – forget telling directions!
Arizona has been my home since 1970. Most of that time, I lived in Flagstaff where, over the years, I could give directions using “north, south, east and west.” However, unlike my dad, my sense of direction came from visualizing a map of the city in my head, not from any inherent sense of direction. I had spent time in Phoenix visiting family, shopping and attending meetings, so when I received my first appointment as a pastor to serve a church in the Phoenix area, I was familiar with the Valley. I certainly couldn’t give anyone directions, but with the use of city maps, I found my way around.
It was upon my receiving a new appointment to a church in the Las Vegas area that my son introduced me to a GPS device I plugged into my car. Most times, the GPS and I got along fine, but I do remember one afternoon when I had to go into the heart of Vegas, and I ended up getting so lost that I got the GPS lost!
Even so, I was thrilled when the new car I recently purchased came with a factory-installed navigational system. Now when I get lost and my car’s GPS keeps repeating, “Recalculate,” I know I need to listen and rethink what I am doing, so I can head in the right direction.
What if we would essentially look at Christ as God’s navigational system for our lives? Unfortunately, it is way too easy to stray from the path God calls us to travel, causing us to lose our way. When that happens, we need to “Recalculate!” Only when listening to Christ’s call to “follow me” and by reconsidering our words and actions, will we find ourselves heading in the right direction on the road to eternal salvation!