Where On The Map

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?”


“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.

Or not.

But if we do, there’s one thing I know.

We will never be lost again.


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5 Comments on The Unfailing GPS

  1. Diana
    September 9, 2014 at 4:14 pm (10 years ago)

    Hi, Erin,
    That conversation sounds exactly like my beloved and I. Compounded by bad hearing on the beloved’s part and bad eyesight on mine. I don’t think the GPS has helped us much.
    I am always very happy Jesus knows where we’re at. 🙂

    • Erin Taylor Young
      September 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm (10 years ago)

      Diana, you crack me up. Nice to know my hubby and I are not the only people arguing AND growing old. : )

  2. Robin Patchen
    September 9, 2014 at 5:41 pm (10 years ago)

    Sorry to say the hubby and I have had similar conversations. Thank heavens for GPS. And it’s a great point, because without a clear understanding of our own brokenness, we don’t understand how badly we need to be fixed.

    • Erin Taylor Young
      September 10, 2014 at 3:05 pm (10 years ago)

      Robin, isn’t it ironic that these delightful, stressful, impatient conversations with our hubbies (about where we are) are part of what’s broken about us? : )

  3. Ann Ellison
    September 10, 2014 at 4:44 pm (10 years ago)

    Loved your comments. Have definitely been there and had that conversation with my hubby So glad we have God’s GPS for direction in our lives. As long as we follow Him we don’t have to stress about getting lost.