“Turn left at the stop sign.” “Recalculating.” “Turn left in 400 feet.” “Recalculating,” said the voice housed within my mom’s Volvo that kept sending me in the wrong direction. These misleading commands wouldn’t stop!
At first, my husband and I got a good chuckle out of the situation. Next, we got a little annoyed with “her” insistent commands. Didn’t she know he and I were trying to have a conversation? After a few minutes, her now familiar voice began to have a lure to it. Where was she persistently trying to send us? Wherever it was, it was in the opposite direction we needed to go. At one point during the drive, I even began to entertain her demands. “What if I decided to go where she was telling me?” “What if I turned left when really I needed to turn right?” Suddenly the enticement of adventure seemed appealing.
Part of me still wishes I had followed the voice that day. I will never know where she wanted to take me.
Life often feels like the voice in the Volvo. The voice of the world screams for my attention, constantly enticing me to go in the wrong direction. Each new voice puts thoughts into my head that weren’t there a few minutes ago. Sometimes these voices come from within – voices of frustration, discouragement, and despair. At other times they are voices of comparison and fear. Often when I entertain one misguided thought, it just leads to another. I give into one thought of fear only to have the next fearful thought arriving quickly on its heels. Suddenly I am worried about something that I hadn’t even considered 10 minutes earlier.
However, not all misguided thoughts are negative. There are also thoughts about happy things. At times, ideas and creativity beg me to come and play with them. These ideas appear fun and whimsical, yet, they too can take me on an adventure I don’t need to go. Before I know it, I have wasted 3 hours creating the perfect piece of art that I really don’t need and don’t have room for!
Half that battle is being aware of the distractions and recognizing them for what they are. The world’s misguided voices must be stopped in their place, and the lure they bring must be resisted.
Romans 12:2 provides this instruction, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
What if I would have followed the Volvo voice? In the beginning, I am sure it would have been fun and exciting. What if it would have led me to a bad part of town? What if it would have led me to a place of no return, getting me somewhere and never telling me how to get back home? I never figured out how to stop the Volvo voice commands. Although, I must say she taught me a few lessons that day.
To stay on course I must keep the final goal in mind. Otherwise, I will end up in a direction I never intended. For me, the reality of five kids waiting for me that day kept me from chasing adventure. In much the same way the Lord’s leadings and the Bible anchor my route.
The book of James tells us that this life is but a vapor. It is short. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to get off course no matter how persistent and enticing the voice.