I get into my minivan and attach my phone to its magnetic mount. I type in the address of my destination, even though I had been there just a couple of days before. I know the general route, but I find comfort in having the Google maps lady guide me the whole way. She tells me it’ll take an hour and thirty-five minutes with traffic that’s heavier than usual, so I settle in, turn on a podcast, and start my drive.
I’m about to get on the highway when I go through my mental list of the things I needed to bring with me that day. I rummage through my big purse, checking each item off the list as I touch them. And that’s when I realize I forgot to bring my battery charger for my phone. With my phone dying halfway through the day every day these days, I desperately need to have my battery charger with me wherever I go.
I panic. It’s too late to drive back home, and I know using the maps app and listening to a podcast will drain my battery even faster than usual.
So I do the unthinkable: I close all the apps, and I drive by memory alone and in silence.
How did we navigate the road and keep ourselves company before our phones?! It boggles my mind that this was life not too long ago, and now we can’t imagine driving any distance without these little machines.
I thankfully arrive safely and on time to my destination and have enough battery juice to get me home at the end of the day. I’m weirdly proud of myself for having made it there and back without depending on the Google maps lady.
Pausing my dependence on her for the day made me think of how dependent we often are on the plans we make and the paths we intend to take to get to our final destinations in life. We like to know all the facts of every possible route so we know we’re taking the right ones and the most efficient ones. It helps us feel like we’re in control and prepared for what’s ahead and to know how to respond to the roadblocks we’ll face.
It feels like the responsible thing to do, and most of the time, it is. But when our dependence on our best laid plans and preparation is based on fear and worry over what we can’t control, we leave little room for mystery.
Mystery isn’t something to be afraid of, I’m learning. Mystery is something to be curious about and to welcome. Of course, the unknown can be scary, but mystery is the glint in someone’s eye when they can’t wait to give you the gift you’ve been longing for. Mystery is love waiting for you around the corner. Welcoming mystery means we anticipate goodness and hold out for hope knowing that we have a God who embodies both.
We like to talk about how God is in control and how He has plans for our lives, and these truths help us to stand steady. But we also have a God who is mysterious. The hows and whys of His ways constantly – and for our good – evade our logic, and therefore, we must live by faith. We must trust, and we can trust Him because He is love.
I still like to drive with my Google maps lady telling me where to turn and what highways to take, but after that day of driving without her, I’m okay with not knowing too. I’m more open to finding my way as I’m on my way knowing I’ll eventually get to where I need to go.