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  • Writer's pictureShaun Nestor


GPS navigation

Can we take a second to reflect on just how crazy the past week has been in our area? Last week, we had so much wildfire smoke descend upon the area that photos of Center City Philadelphia looked like something out of a post-apocalyptic dystopian movie. The crazy thing is that these fires came from a thousand miles away in Canada!

As the smoke cleared and everyone started going back outside, we then had front-row seats to witness the largest highway on the East Coast collapse due to a truck fire, diverting the travel plans of over 100,000 people per day until I-95 can be fully repaired.

The disruption is so bad that over 40 minutes of rerouted travel time has been added both ways due to the necessary detours through (or around) Philadelphia. All drivers are left to do is trust in the provided detours and the accuracy of their GPS to find that fastest route back on track.

While many interstate commuters will trust wholeheartedly the GPS and directions given, the large contingent of Philly locals might not. Instead, they may attempt to ignore any outside guidance and trust their knowledge of the area to outsmart all the other drivers. For some, this might work. Maybe they will find the perfect alternate route, the shortcut to end all shortcuts. If so, they will probably try to keep it under wraps to protect their secret passage through the maze of asphalt, construction cones, and traffic lights.

More likely, however, is that as they try to navigate this maze, they will strike out. Maybe it is some construction they did not know about. Or perhaps bumper-to-bumper traffic. Regardless of what it is, many will try to navigate this traffic burden on their own, failing in the process. They will add even more hardship, stress, and annoyance to their lives than necessary, all because they chose to go it alone.

It is so easy for us to live our lives in this way. To trust in ourselves, what we can see, what we can understand. Our feelings, and our understanding, can be great guides in life, but they can also easily be swayed off-course. All it takes is that one distracter, that one temptation, and all of a sudden we have deviated far off-course.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways submit to him,

and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Just like Solomon says in the Proverbs, we are called to put our trust in the Lord. He sees well beyond what we can. Just like a GPS re-routing due to a road closure, God guides our steps in such a way that makes our path ahead simple and less prone to pitfalls.

But when you come to a fork in the road, what do you do? “You take it!” Yogi Berra would say.

In actuality, when you come to a fork in the road in a potentially life-altering decision, it can be hard to know the right decision to make. That is when you really need to trust in God. Jonathan Pokluda, a pastor at Harris Creek Baptist Church in Texas, uses the acronym GPS often to describe how to go about these decisions:

G: Go to God

P: Pray through the Scriptures

S: Seek wise counsel

If you do these three things, you will be better equipped for the detours of life ahead, whether they be due to a wildfire, a collapsed highway, or anything else!

“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

Isaiah 58:11 NIV

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