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Do You Need a Map When You Have a Guide?

I love traveling; it doesn’t matter where I’m going or even how long I’ll be gone, I just love to travel (my family says I have Gypsy blood).  The good, the bad, and even the ugly as long as its part of the trip it’s worth it to me.

There are some handy travel aids that can really help out on a trip; one of the oldest and most used (not to mention the source of many heated discussions between husbands and wives) is the map.  As good as maps are there are a few draw backs to a map: first you have to know how to read a map, some maps are not very detailed, and at the rate things change it is possible to get an outdated map.

Thanks to advances in technology, today we have the G.P.S. In the event that your reading this and you don’t know what a G.P.S. is allow me to explain; it’s a portable space age screen that you plug into the lighter in your vehicle and it talks to you and tells you how to get where you want to go (in multiple languages). G.P. S. systems have their draw backs to; such as they can’t tell you when a road or bridge is impassable, under construction, or in some cases no longer there.

On a white water rafting trip a few years ago I came to realize the biggest draw back to using a G.P.S. or map is that both of them serve one purpose and that is to go from point A to point B; they focus on the destination with no consideration to the journey itself.

Thanks to Jesus’ finished work on Calvary the believer’s destination is secure.  Thanks to the promise and seal of the Holy Spirit we will arrive at our ultimate destination, Paul makes that abundantly clear in Romans chapter 8:35-39 if that doesn’t settle it for you read the words of Jesus in John 6:39-40.

When we arrived at the rafting company they didn’t give us a map or G.P.S. and wish us luck. They did however, give us a safety talk, the equipment that we would need, and most importantly they assigned a guide to every boat. The great thing about our guide besides knowing all the mechanics of rafting is that he knows the river intimately and his knowledge of the river added to our rafting experience. 

Jesus doesn’t offer us a map or G.P.S to our destination, He is the way. Jesus doesn’t want us so consumed with the destination that we miss all that He has for us along the journey. Instead He calls us to “follow Him,” in other words to journey along with Him as He guides us personally.

I would encourage you not to seek a map through life or some artificial life guiding system, but to heed the call of Jesus; learn to trust and follow Him.  He is the “way, the truth, and the life” not only in regards to our destination but also the journey.

- Tim