In a world before GPS (and still in Boy Scouting and other outdoor groups), people learned to navigate in steps. In orienteering, for instance, you would navigate using a compass and map from point to point. No electronic map to show the route from start to finish… no rerouting on your phone if you get off course.
There is no spiritual GPS – God has not upgraded. The journey of faith is a step-by-step one. A journey that demands we focus on the steps before us. We know the destination (which is, by the way, a Person rather than a place – more on this later) but at the moment we aren’t there. We only know the points that we have traveled and the point toward which we are traveling next.
For Christians, the Bible, the traditions of the church, our faith communities, the still small voice of God’s Spirit are all spiritual orienteering tools. Our compasses and maps. Our destination is God Himself.
This metaphor humbles me. I can’t know where others are on the map. They may be following a different set of points. Their map may be different even if the destination is the same. They didn’t start where I did (nor did I start where they did).
It also means that the journey right now matters. I can’t get to where God leads me without traveling point-to-point-to-point on the route. Shortcuts end up leaving me lost or confused.
Wherever you find yourself today on this journey, attend to the steps you are taking. To the next point you are trying to reach.
The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him… (Psalm 37:23 NIV)