about writing and life and God

Maps for the road

on June 11, 2015

My planned journey is a 1500 mile round trip. It’s pretty easy to navigate: get onto the main road and drive north. Stop when you reach the sea.

Digital Image

My road atlas was battered and out of date so I sprung for a new one. But it doesn’t fold flat… And maybe I’ll need a little more detail to find the homes of friends in Edinburgh and Dundee, so I decided I’d need to use my satnav. I bought it in 2006. So I decided I’d update it.

I duly found my password and user name, and logged on to the relevant site. I discovered I hadn’t registered it. So I did so now. I waited for email confirmation and then took myself to the website and discovered the update would cost £49.99. It’s a necessary business expense so I paid up.

But when I came to download, it turned out my laptop didn’t have quite the right software so I needed to download something else first.

To cut this saga short, I still don’t know whether I’ve managed to download the update.

Three things occur to me:

First, will computer frustrations never end? Is this perhaps a glimpse of hell?

Second, how much better it would have been if I’d registered my satnav when I’d first bought it, and subscribed to the update service!

And third: isn’t this just like life? Buying the satnav is a bit like my first commitment to Christ. At the time a great and wonderful discovery. And one of the loveliest things about ‘the Holy Spirit is like a satnav‘ analogy is the voice which responds to my wrong turns by saying quietly ‘Recalculating’ before gently but firmly pointing me in the right direction or reorganising my route to get me where I really should be!

But it struck me today that we need to keep our spiritual and moral maps as up-to-date as the satnav ones. Our world changes. New temptations lure us off the path. We need a satnav that works and keeps us from the dead ends and blind alleys of sin. Our commitment to Christ is in effect a lifelong subscription – but we need to make the effort to download the software to keep us up to date each day. And the only way to do that is by spending time reading the Bible and praying.

‘Your enemy the devil prowls round like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ 1 Peter 5:12. In the old days, maps had written on them: ‘Here be dragons’. We need internal maps that say ‘Here be moral and spiritual dangers. Beware!’


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