I was driving to my mom’s house to pick up a friend and to take her to a speaking engagement in a town about 45 minutes away. I live in “Chicago-land” which means everything is at least 30 minutes away and the towns stretch out one after another for hours until you reach Iowa.
So I pulled out my Waze GPS app on my phone. Before I left my house I plugged in the address of where we were going and I started driving to my mom’s which was no where near our final destination. As I made my way up LaGrange Rd my Waze app continued to re-route, re-route, make a U-turn, re-route and look for new routes to the destination I had requested. The further I got from my starting point the more the app had to work to get me successfully to my destination. The GPS didn’t know that I was intentionally avoiding and ignoring it’s instructions. It continued to remain faithful in routing to me to where I wanted to go over and over again.
Sometimes I wonder if the computer could talk, what would it say after I made the 3rd or 4th wrong turn? How many times would it allow me to go the wrong direction before it finally would say, “just forget it” and give up and shut down.
This picture of my phone screen updating and spinning until it found another pathway for me to travel to get me to where I said I wanted to go feels a lot like today and yesterday and probably tomorrow. A few years ago, I said I wanted to be a writer. I told God, I have something to say, please give me a platform to speak to people. I started this blog. I joined a speaker’s group.
and then I stopped. I got scared. I quit for awhile.
After some re-routing I found myself bursting with words and ideas and courage so I began to write again. My post about Lucy got more love and more hits than anything I’d ever written before. It was exhilarating!
Lucy’s story routed me to a living room where I sat down with an accomplished, published author who was interested in what I had to say. She wanted to give me a platform.
She believed in me, she wanted to pay me to write and to learn from her and her experience. She was inviting me to come into her writer’s world, to look around and spend some time there.
Changing direction isn’t always easy. There’s traffic and lights and pedestrians. If I’m traveling down the road going East and the GPS says take a left, I’m suddenly not going East anymore. That’s a no brainer. But what if going East is all you know? What if you’ve been traveling East for so long that you’ve forgotten how to turn? What if you like going East because you know this route so well, you can travel it with your eyes closed? Driving with your eyes closed is NOT recommended! However, I think I’m guilty. At least here in my preverbal car.
I’ve got to turn and if I don’t my GPS will continue to re-route me until I am heading the right direction, it won’t quit, it won’t relent, it will be faithful to get me where I should be going.
I was invited by my author friend to attend the Breathe Writer’s Conference in October, not just invited but the whole experience was offered to me free of charge. I don’t even have to find a place to stay, it’s covered. At first I’m honored and amazed, humored almost. Because in my mind, I hear that too familiar voice whisper, “You’re not a writer. You could never attend that with integrity…you’d be an imposter. And everyone would know it.”
I know this voice, it’s the voice that convinces me I’m less than…can’t measure…have nothing to say… Do you know the one? Do you have that voice? It sounds so logical and it’s incredibly convincing. And when I start to defy the voice it is incredibly effective at stirring up just the right amount of fear and doubt to make me NOT follow the GPS directions.
The most hopelessly lost I’ve ever gotten on a trip is when I have a GPS but I refuse to follow it’s direction. I look at the screen and think, that can’t really be what it wants me to do and I decide that I know better and suddenly I’m lost and being re-routed again.
My friend, the author, she made me register for the conference. She made me take out my laptop and write my name and address in the form and check the boxes that describe my writing. She sat next to me and waited until I was finished and she wouldn’t leave until I had completed the task. I’m so thankful for friends and mentors who sit by me and believe in me when I don’t. I need them. Without them, I’d be hopelessly lost or worse, stuck on the same path never looking to my right or to my left but endlessly driving East.
Re-routing isn’t something to avoid. Re-routing will get us where we want to go eventually. It will be complicated and it may require a U-turn, which can be terribly embarrassing and sometimes even illegal if you don’t do it right. I guess re-routing is just part of the journey. I probably shouldn’t resist it so much? I don’t know. Time for me to go check my GPS screen again and see if I need to make a turn.
I wonder, what path you are traveling right now and if you’ve ever been rerouted? Why did you reroute? And, how do you know when you are back on the right path going the right direction? What do you think?
My friend, the author, is Lynn Austin. She writes fiction that reads like a devotional. Her latest book, Waves of Mercy, will be released on October 4, 2016. It is the true story of Dutch immigrants who travel across the world to settle Holland, MI. If you are looking for a good read, I highly recommend spending time in any of her books.