This morning as we left the house for school, I was determined to make it in record time. Due to the recent flooding in our area, our morning commute had increased dramatically. I’ve had the Waze app on my phone for some time now, but have only been using it for trips into downtown Houston, (because attempting to drive into that without help is downright scary).
When I typed in the address of the school, Waze reassured me it could lead us there in 35 minutes. (The day before, it took us an hour and a half). The kids and I laughed.
“Do you think it will work, Mom?”
“If this works, it will be a miracle from Jesus.”, I said.
So off we went.
If you’ve ever used Waze, you soon learn that it requires an incredible amount of trust. It will send you in the opposite direction, down dark alley ways, through someone’s backyard, and then ask you at the drop of a hat to turn around and retrace your tracks. But any user of the app will tell you, “you’ve got to just trust the wisdom of Waze”.
See, the app keeps track of traffic, accidents, inoperable lights…all of it. Plus, it knows how fast you and other Waze users are moving. So, in an instant, it knows when changes occur. Immediately, it calculates when changing your route all together is time-efficient. And sometimes, it sends you in the opposite direction to have you arrive at your final destination faster.
This morning, Waze led us through small winding streets, on the Hwy headed south (when ultimately we wanted to go north), and zig-zagging neighborhoods I didn’t even know existed.
As we turned off one little street onto the next, we suddenly saw it: yard after yard filled with rolled up carpet, dismantled wood flooring, piles of sheetrock, and couches stacked upon one another. Kids were waiting in their front yards for the school bus next to piles of destroyed belongings.
It took us by surprise.
The car fell silent.
All the air was sucked into our lungs by our gasps.
Eventually, someone broke the quiet.
“I wish we could do something.”
Suddenly, our commuting challenges of the past few days didn’t matter. The unacknowledged rains of last night (the ones we slept through), now seemed cruel and senseless.
“Kids, if it hadn’t been for Waze, I wouldn’t have even known this was back here.”
“Maybe Jesus is in Waze, Mom.”
Maybe. I don’t think He is literally living in the phone app. However, I think Jesus absolutely used Waze this morning to guide us down a path of humility, compassion, and gratitude…the ways of Jesus.
As we continued to follow the directions offered by my phone, we saw house after house, family after family in need. We discussed plans to come back after school, maybe toting pizzas, or cleaning supplies, or just prayers and consolation. The kids were no longer arguing about who ate the last breakfast bar or debating whose fault it was that we left 10 minutes late that morning. Our hearts had been shifted. Our perspective had been flipped. My words came back to me: “If this works, it will be a miracle from Jesus.”
Jesus, in all His ways, miraculously turns our selfish hearts outwards towards others. The Holy Spirit guides us down paths previously unseen.
But if we don’t trust Him, in all His seemingly awkward and backwards-pointing directions, we just might miss the opportunity for a dramatic change of heart. We might miss the hurting and the broken. We might miss a whole world of opportunity to serve as the Church.
When we don’t trust His promptings, we find ourselves taking our route back into our own tight-gripped hands, only to be frustratingly locked in a spiritual stand still.
Think of Noah. Think of Jonah. Think of Lot. Think of Jesus! “Go towards the cross…”, even when Jesus asked the Father for a different way.
Lately, I’ve been feeling the prompting of the Holy Spirit to act in specific ways–to head in a specific direction. But I’ve been putting action off, straight-up ignoring His voice, and allowing myself to be distracted by the selfish conveniences of life. Today’s little adventure to school not only filled our car with compassion, launching us into a plan for service, but it also helped fix my eyes on Jesus…His voice, His direction, and His ways.
(And we got to school in 35 minutes.)
“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths” (Psalm 25:4).