The Perfect Man - that's what my Mum calls her Tom Tom. He never gets upset if she doesn't make the right turn 400m ahead, he just politely informs her of the next few moves to get her back on track without as much of a 'I told you so!' that would have doused the happy mood she was in.
Off course I too wanted to have my own 'perfect man'. Gone are the days when I'd stop every 30 minutes to consult the dog-eared, ripped and falling out pages of my map book on the unfamiliar highways and byways of world travel. I love that I can punch in an address and my 'perfect man' gets me there without stopping to check, or ask for, directions. To anyone watching me, I have an air of confidence that says 'I know where I'm going'.
But this isn't always the case is it? For those of you who have your own 'perfect man', or 'woman', you'd be aware that their perfectness is ... well ... seemingly somewhat off at times. This thought dampens your perfect relationship as you begin to suspect if they're leading you up the proverbial garden path by taking you on a route you know perfectly well is not the way YOU would of chosen. GPS's can be so frustrating at times.
I've 4 sets of maps in my GPS unit - New Zealand, Australia, United States and Canada. On a recent weekend getaway in Australia I entered my couchsurfing host's address into my GPS and was informed that it would take 1 hour and 57 minutes to reach my destination. Now, I'm not overly knowledgeable of my current surroundings so I confidently put my complete trust in my GPS and cleave to it like as I would my closest friend as I begin the journey. But I have travelled part of this road twice before, so I expect in 50 minutes I'll come across the nearest township of Kempsey (NSW). I look forward to this as I've been without phone reception for a few weeks and I'm eager to call my daughter.
So I was surprised, when only 40 minutes into the drive, my GPS politely tells me to take the next left! I'm still kilometres from town! Still in the countryside! Still without reception! And have less than a couple of hours of light left in the day! Are you sure, Mr GPS, that you want me to turn off?
Now my attitude changes and instead of actually trusting that he knows the way better than me, I stop the car and get up close and personal with my map, scrolling out to see the 'big picture'. He's making me bypass Kempsey! I'm not thrilled and I begin to remember past excursions when he's seemingly steered me wrong. Mistrust courses through me. But I've no one else to ask directions of, there is no other soul on the road, so I begrudgingly hang a left. Off course the minutes I wasted processing and complaining all this pushed out my arrival time at the other end.
I'm now on unfamiliar roads. In fact they've become dirt roads and more windy. I'm still the only car as far as the eye can see and although the view is just amazing, liking it to what heaven would be like with mystical mountain vistas and lopping kangaroos everywhere, I just can't shake the nagging doubt that I've come the wrong way. 'The GPS doesn't know what he's talking about' I mutter in my heart, and it just adds to my mistrust of his directions. Is that cloud?!
I've steadily been climbing. Oh Man!! I'm TOTALLY in the middle of nowhere, on a deserted back-country road and now have driven to the peak of a low mountain! I catch myself as I begin mentally preparing for a night stuck in the car having imagined running out of petrol and am pleased to note I have my bedding and a few jars of cooked lentils to keep me warm and fed until someone comes saves me. But without phone reception that could be a while.
Every once and awhile my GPS speaks to me - kindly, politely - to let me know I can make a turn here or there. I keep going, so many turns are taking me deeper into no-man's land, and it's getting dull as the sun slowly sinks into bedtime. Finally the road becomes tar sealed and I realise I've been internally clenching and I relax with the realisation that I've made it to civilisation again. Before long I'm driving through some outlining farming community which turns into the suburbs of a small country town and one more bridge later I'm transported into the familiar and sitting at stop lights in the township itself - of the relief! I could kiss someone!
In the reflective time that inevitably comes when one is feeling safe and sound, God shows me how I have mistrusted Him as I journey my life. I assume it's going to be pretty straight forward travelling to point B from A. I'm full of expectations of what's ahead and yet it never ceases to amaze me how I begin questioning His judgement and mistrusting Him if things don't go as I plan or expect them too. Yet all the while, God, in all His benevolence and love towards me quietly navigates my way, as He sees the 'big picture' of my life and knows better than I what's ahead. I'm pleased to know that after a decade of knowing Him often times we actually want the same outcome, I just have to adjust to His leading.
So while sitting at the stop lights I thank Him for the journey thus far, and for the way He's chosen to lead me and my faith in Him is strengthen as He knows best - I'm pretty happy with My Perfect Man although somewhat less so with my GPS.