Monday, February 21, 2011

Not a Map or an App

In recent years Apple has coined the term “there’s an app for that,” and there seems to be a smartphone app for most any problem in life. Trying to follow Google Maps written directions recently, I was confused by “head Northeast on Such and Such Street.” Which way is Northeast? Within 30 seconds I had compass app on my Droid and Northeast was no longer a problem.

In his translation of Psalm 43:3, Eugene Peterson writes, “Give me your lantern and compass, give me a map so I can find my way to the sacred mountain, to the place of your presence.” In even more modern language, the psalmist is asking for an app to guide him into the presence of God. Clear directions, an easy-to-follow guide. A map and an app.

But my Psalms mentor, Jim, has wisely noted that God doesn’t do apps. His goal is not the quick fix or the easy understanding. He’d rather give us Himself than the Answer.

Not a map. Not an app. But a shepherd.

In the myriad of decisions and life stages and competing calls for our time and attention, we long for God to spell out what exactly we ought to do next. And He mostly gives us Himself. A shepherd who guides, who comforts, who calls us by name. And teaches us to learn His voice. There’s not an app for that. There’s not quick way to relationship, to trust, to knowing that God is INDEED my shepherd and that I shall not be in want.

As I ponder some major rumblings in my heart and significant life decisions, I’m learning to seek the presence and voice of God.

Not a map. Not an app. But a shepherd.

1 comment:

Emily said...