As long as ever you can…

Late adopter: someone who is slow to use a new product, technology or idea.

I guess my wife and I are late adopters.

It took us a long time to purchase a GPS, long after the technology was being utilized by everyone else. After I got GPS, I was fascinated. Then after several trips with strange routes or slightly incorrect destinations, I began to wonder if there was something better.

A smart phone!

Now my wife has a smart phone with of course Google Map technology, and more accurate, up-to-date GPS technology.

Everyone else has been using these for years but here we are—the late adopters.

As we were getting closer to our destination yesterday, my wife admitted that she really likes a good old fashioned paper map but our smart phone got us to our destination without a hitch.

My point is, no matter what gets you to your destination, it is important for you to get there. Being lost is not fun if it is a permanent state. Along the way, it is important for you to make the correct decisions, the “right choices” so to speak.

Pastor John Bevere begins Chapter Six in his book Good or God? with the analogy of the GPS. I think it is a good analogy for the Christian life.

When one begins a journey, the destination has to be entered into the technology. Some people really don’t have a clear idea of where they want to go; they have a town to travel to but maybe they are not sure about the specific address of their location. What may happen as they travel? They will wind up at some vague location like a “city center” which may be far from where they want to go. Along the way, we have choices to make. We may see something that is interesting or even distracting so we decide we have to “veer off the path.” That is ok. We have freedom and sometimes taking a little adventure makes the trip enjoyable. I am reminded of the expression “we need to take time to smell the roses.” Veer off and have some fun.

The problem with some of us is we get distracted and never get back on the road.

That is an exaggeration of course; we want to get to our destination eventually, so we will get back on the road but let’s work with this analogy a while.

I once had a very good friend, a mentor who told me at a time when I was confused about my life, that all life is, is a series of choices. This mentor [who has passed on now] was a Christian. I would describe his life as a life of Christian action. Whenever he could, wherever he was, he would take time to help others who had a need. You see, he had what Bevere writes about in Chapter Six; he had an internal GPS, a clear destination and a clear way to get there. He knew that his choices mattered. He also knew that life is full of distractions that take you off course. He was a Methodist and at the time I met him, I was not really sure what I was. He explained that he lived by John Wesley’s motto: “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

As we look at people travel through life, we have to admit that we all have limited perspectives. We never see people at all the times of their life; we all have our struggles and none of us is perfect. He wasn’t flawless but he strived to be the best man he could be. He knew his Holy Spirit was his GPS and his destination was the best relationship he could have with his Lord and Savior. Thomas Merton, the monk writing in his book Thoughts in Solitude, used the following words in a special prayer he prayed and I think this is a wonderful time to share it. “I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, You will lead me by the right road.” I would say my friend lived that prayer.

What is that desire he is speaking about? What is that destination that my mentor had in his life?

Let’s turn to the quote from St. Augustine of Hippo, at the beginning of Chapter 6: “To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him, the greatest adventure; to find Him, the greatest human achievement.”

Don’t be a late adopter; use a GPS and have a specific destination.

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