Jesus & Road Maps

I've spent most of my life searching for answers to questions that will probably not be answered on earth. And part of that search has included - at various times - calling out to the heavens, asking God for a neon sign or billboard, requesting a timeline so I know when to expect things, and lately, Google Maps directions for my life.

I wanted the neon sign and billboard because I needed a glaringly obvious sign I could get through a very dark period, and asking for a flashlight wasn't cutting it anymore. I requested a timeline because if I knew what to expect and when to expect it, I would know how to handle it, instead of crying and staying in bed for long periods of time. And lately, I've been asking for Jesus to show up with Google maps directions - or at least a road map of sorts - because I'm really not sure where I'm going these days.

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As a control freak who is trying very hard to learn how to not be a control freak -- especially in her relationship with God -- I want Jesus to show up with a road map that shows me my way around, every time. And preferably, if he's going to show me a road map, it'll be one that exactly mirrors who I am and what I'm already doing.

I'm struggling hard core with the fact that I don't get a road map or the answers I want. I have answers to questions I'm not asking, but the questions I'm asking are silently sitting to the side. I want a road map to show me when and how we're going to get to those answers. I want Jesus to show up with the road map.

I don't know if Jesus always shows up with a road map, though. I keep mulling over this truth and more and more, I think, depending on what the situation requires, He comes and He's ready to go, but rarely with a road map to show us how we're going to get from point A to point B.

I don't know if Jesus always shows up with a road map. I imagine sometimes, he shows up with snacks, because that's what we need. I imagine sometimes, he shows up with the perfect road mix and a distracting car game. But here's the thing - he may not always have a road map. He may be the friend you blame for getting lost, even though you're the one who is painfully directionally challenged.

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I keep thinking I'm the first one to experience any of this. And then I think of all the characters in the Bible who had Jesus show up for them all the time, never with a road map. I love the story of Jonah, because he was a prophet, presumably someone who we would label a "good Christian" these days. And when he received his call - or his road map, to continue the metaphor - Jonah ran away. He saw the destination of his road map - Ninevah - and ran away (which is probably why Jesus is not showing up with a road map for me). And when Jonah was in the midst of a storm and couldn't change what he was supposed to do, God showed up for him, even after Jonah ran away from Him. Not with a neon sign, billboard, timeline, or a road map that gave detailed directions - but with a whale.

Because sometimes showing up looks less like a road map and more like a whale.

Maybe I need to be swallowed by a whale? I don't know these days.

But what I do know - even though I have tried to run away from this truth - is that Jesus always shows up. When I'm about to embark on a new adventure and I'm screaming for an answer on where this going, Jesus shows up. And He has yet to bring a road map that details exactly which turn we need to take in 6.3 kilometers but He's there. Ready to fix a car tire if it breaks. Ready to quietly adjust course when we miss an exit or take an exit I'm definitely not supposed to. Ready to play good tunes and have a dance party when there are moments of celebration, and ready to listen and provide insight when I'm tired and grouchy and sick of answering what I want to be when I grow up because I just don't know.

He's waiting to take the wheel, even if He has to pry my fingers off one by one (which on most days, He does). And I've gotta let go of the wheel, not because Carrie Underwood sang about it, but because He knows what He's doing. He knows where He's going. He doesn't need to show up with a road map because He knows the road map for my life like He knows the name of every star He's placed in the sky, like He knows how many stitches were used when He bound up the scars on my heart.

& tonight & every night, that's enough for me.

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