Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How Do You Navigate?

This week has not been a normal team week for me. Usually when there is a team here, I am with them all of the time. I eat with them, work with them and drive them where they are going. This week started with me being separate from them for the first two days during their work time. Monday, I needed to take Patricia and her friend Joan to Zapote. they needed to visit our projects along with the Church and school and I had a couple of small projects to complete there. Tuesday, I needed to take Joan to the airport while they were out working in Membrillal.Both of these days had me driving more than working but I am here to do whatever they need.

While I was driving, I was thinking about how navigating here is different than at home. In Illinois, most of our roads and city streets are laid out on a grid.Navigation is usually pretty straightforward and does not require a lot of thought. Here, nothing is straight. I am often a landmark navigator. I turn at this building. I need to be in the right lane when I go past this spot to be prepared for the lane split ahead. Often, I determine my position by where I am in relation to a certain volcano or mountain. 

Yesterday there was a detour on the highway. The detour is actually the route that I usually take but because the main road was closed there was long delays. Because of the delays, I decided to take a route that I did not know. I knew that the Agua Volcano was south of Antigua and that I needed to go east until I was almost past it and hen go north. As we went through narrow streets in towns that I was not familiar with, I questioned my decisions several times until I started seeing familiar things. Even though I was not sure exactly where I was, I kept following the things I knew. After about 15 minutes, the same amount of time it would have taken without a detour, I would up where I thought I would.

This led me to ask: How does God lead me as I navigate through life? Is His word stored away so that I can call it up at the time I need it for a particular situation? Have I spent focused quiet time becoming familiar with the still small voice that the Holy Spirit usually uses?  Am I familiar enough with the way that I think to know the difference between my thoughts and Spirit inspired thinking? How many ways have I allowed God to develop in me so that I can discern where He is leading?

Just like I need to learn different ways of navigation that require different skills in Illinois and Guatemala, I need to allow God to develop different skills of discerning His will in me. Knowing and understanding Scripture is important. It is the basis for all discernment. Without sound Biblical understanding, we cannot trust anything else that we may here. We need to develop good Biblical knowledge just like we need to study a map before we go to a place and get lost. We also need to learn to distinguish the Holy Spirit speaking to us in thought, song, audible voice, impression or through others. If we do not learn and allow God to develop these things in us, we will frequently be wandering around trying to figure out the next step in life. If we develop these things, we can confidently take just the step that is in front of us at the moment, knowing that God will give us what we need after that when it is time. We no longer need to stress. We can rest in the leading of God and continue on until He tells us it is time to turn.

How are you navigating life today?

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