Remember the days before GPS’s? When a seemingly innocuous day trip could result in a scene like this:
Hubby hunches over the steering wheel and scans the upcoming intersection. “Where am I supposed to turn?”
Wife squints sideways at the guidebook map. “I don’t know.”
“You have the map.”
“Yes, but I don’t know where we are on the map.”
“The light says Adams. Turn or go straight?”
“Adams and what?”
“I need to know NOW.”
“I don’t see—”
“Too late. We passed it.”
“What street are we ON?”
“I don’t know. You have the map!”
“But where ARE we on it?”
“Here’s 15th. Turn?”
“I. DON’T. KNOW.”
“Look at the MAP.”
“It’s not ON the map. WE are not on the stinking map.”
“Find the park.”
“The park is on the map. Got it. No problem.”
“Good. Where do I turn?”
“Depends on WHERE WE ARE!”
Welcome to one of Alan’s and my biggest fights ever. Oh, what I wouldn’t have given for the comforting blue you-are-here dot on a smartphone GPS. And did I mention our destination was the happiest place on earth—Disney’s Magic Kingdom? I think the kids were in tears about this time.
The fact is, you can never find your happy place without a clear understanding of where you are now.
I guess that’s because you can’t leave yourself behind. Your problems, your personality, your ability to deal with stress—that comes with you. Your flaws too.
I think I finally get why Jesus, when a paralytic is lowered through the roof and plopped right at his feet (Mark 2), didn’t just heal the guy right off the bat. Clearly, the paralytic and his friends had a destination in mind—they wanted the guy to walk again. To work and not beg. To live life normally.
But he couldn’t get there in his condition—his spiritual condition.
He, like the rest of us, needed an awareness of our inward brokenness. And then directions to the person who can fix us.
In front of the whole crowded room, Jesus claims to be that fixer. Then he deals with the guy’s inner situation first—the state of his soul. When the naysayers question Jesus’ authority on soul-matters, that’s when he heals the outward problem.
And yeah, the guy did get up and walk in front of everyone. But that wasn’t the point. That was just the proof—both then and now—that Jesus knows what he’s doing.
Like an infallible GPS, Jesus puts a big ol’ blue dot on our map showing us exactly where our heart is.
But more than that, he knows where we need to go, inwardly and outwardly. He’s got our true happy place already pinpointed. And chances are it’s in an entirely different location than we thought.
It’s up to us whether to embrace that new destination and follow Jesus’ route guidance.
But if we do, there’s one thing I know.
We will never be lost again.
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