GOD gives out Wisdom free . . . So now you can pick out what's true and fair, find all the good trails! Lady Wisdom will be your close friend, and Brother Knowledge your pleasant companion. Good Sense will scout ahead for danger, Insight will keep an eye out for you. They'll keep you from making wrong turns, or following the bad directions Of those who are lost themselves and can't tell a trail from a tumbleweed . . . Traveling paths that go nowhere, wandering in a maze of detours and dead ends. . . So--join the company of good men and women, keep your feet on the tried and true paths. (Excerpts from Proverbs 2:6-20 Msg)
Recently I was going to the mega-city of Johannesburg. The traffic at rush hour on the ring road around the city is so bad that the only way you can change lanes is to step out your car and climb into the one next to you. The solution is to get off that concrete highway and negotiate your way through the suburbs. If you're my husband, that makes sense. If you're me—it doesn't.
So we got a GPS.
What's a GPS, you ask? The initials stand for Global Positioning System. This space-based navigational system is based on signals received from satellites which orbit the earth about 12,000 miles above us. Mind-blowing. Once I got used to the spooky feeling of being watched by unseen robotic eyes, I found it amazing.
Now when I have to navigate new roads, I punch the address into my GPS and a pleasant-sounding lady directs me to my destination. If I get stuck in traffic, I can try for the nearest exit and trust my GPS to "recalculate" and find me an alternate route.
As long as I follow instructions, I can be sure of arriving where I need to be. Even if I make a mistake along the way and miss a turning, my new friend tells me she's "recalculating," and she gets me back on track.
My GPS has a clear screen with a bright map, yet sometimes the traffic is too heavy to take my eyes off the road. I can ignore the map and concentrate on just one direction at a time as spoken out by the voice in my GPS.
Fifteen years before I had even heard of the Global Positioning System, I found myself driving an unfamiliar and terrifying route through the cancer valley. I don't think I would have survived if I hadn't had the Lord as my GPS, even if I hadn’t heard the term.
My surgeon didn't expect me to survive a year, and I found my life road littered with the heavy traffic of surgery, radiation, two courses of different chemotherapy, anti-hormone treatment, oncologists, conflicting road signs in books, and misleading detours from well-meaning but wrong-thinking people. Sometimes I made rash decisions, and went the wrong way. Yet whenever I stopped to listen, God "recalculated" and set me back on the right road.
As a writer, I sometimes have no idea how to reach my destination. I may have a story-plan, but I hit a detour. I get lost. Time to consult my built-in GPS. He always knows where I am and how to get me back on track.
Life is hectic. Life is confusing. We face so many choices and have to make so many decisions. Yet no matter where we are in life, we only need to keep our ear tuned to our ever-present GPS, or God's Positioning System.
Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer contains 90 meditations based on some of the ways God's Positioning System directed her through the rough times in the cancer valley. It is available globally in print or online in e-versions. Please visit Shirley through ShirleyCorder.com, where she encourages writers, or at RiseAndSoar.com, where she encourages those in the cancer valley. You can also meet with her on Twitter or FaceBook. Sign up for her newsletter.