As I walked in the cemetery yesterday (I love its peacefulness, park-like beauty, and paved roads) I decided that I was going to walk the whole outer perimeter first. My head naturally works in an orderly fashion—assessing the situation and making a plan, but as I got halfway towards the front I could see three gardeners ahead on my path, weed-eating and mowing. My head immediately went into the options—to keep going I’d have to wave good morning to each one of them, plus it was very noisy, so I quickly made my decision and took the next turn to bypass them, adjusting my mentality to let go of my former plan and embrace the new one. Doing that got me thinking about how we walk through our lives.
For the most part I’m fairly flexible, when I hit something that isn’t what I’ve planned I just detour and keep going, changing my expectations to meet what’s on the new path and adjusting from there. Sure there are times I’m disappointed but I can generally alter my head to follow along.
Many times we struggle to change our script, even if it’s for an easier path, because our head has set the current plan in concrete. To deviate from that throws us into an irritable tizzy that is there throughout our day, while our script has changed we’re leaving claw marks all the way!
Yet, living life is about change—that’s about the only thing we’re guaranteed each day. I don’t consider myself super-spontaneous because I like my routines and I like having my day scripted out, knowing what to expect. In bed before falling asleep at night I look at what is coming “tomorrow,” and I check it again upon waking. I’m comfortable with no surprises in my day, yet once I set my new course my brain generally leaps joyfully into what’s ahead, figuring out my choices from there. Hey! I have a GPS mind (God Positioning System, instead of “Global”), lol. It “recalculates” from wherever I am at the moment.
My cemetery friend
I’ve noticed that many people have a Triptik mind (“Triptiks” are maps AAA will create for you of your route on your trip, showing exactly where to go to reach your destination). The problem with a Triptik mind is that, should you hit a detour or suddenly want to take a side trip you’re off the map, and then they’re no help. However, you can also get in trouble if your GPS mind doesn’t have reception (a connection at all times to God). We found this out in a physical way in February when my mom, Jan, and I went to Disney World. Jan was totally “prepared” with her Triptiks and I with my GPS, until we had to detour around the rock slide at Jellico Mountain, causing us to end up in the backwoods of Kentucky where we were off her map and I didn’t have any reception for my GPS. It got a little tense …
That’s what happens if 1) you’re living by a Triptik, having scripted your day where there’s no room for God (or real life) to insert any detours, and 2) your GPS has lost its God-connection.
When I come to a crossroad and a decision, I make the decision based on that moment, not on what the script originally was, and then work to alter my mindset to accept it (though that’s not always easy). That’s how a God-path works. Whatever we are doing or expecting in our day we should be ready to turn aside at any point and recalculate, in order to follow God’s leading instead of our script. However, one problem is that we don’t see the detours as God’s path, we just see them as “life” getting in our way.
Terry & Kinsey
For example, today, in the midst of writing this, I’m struggling with an attitude problem from exactly what I’m talking about. My mom forgot that her friend had made arrangements to pick her up for lunch today and bring her home, so all week I’ve had my schedule worked out around taking her and picking her up, only on to learn at the last minute that she’d remembered that her friend was doing it and I wasn’t involved. I’d built my schedule today around one script only to suddenly learn it had all changed, and yes, while it had changed for the better I was still frustrated.
Often we can only flow through a script as long as it follows our prescribed path, when it deviates from the path we began stumbling along, confused and frustrated. We have to learn to flow mid-stride onto a different path, following wherever God leads us. It’s not easy, but by keeping our eyes on Jesus we’ll get better at it, and life will become more of the adventure that God meant it to be.
Wait, is that a crossroad coming up? Flow, Brenda, flow!