I did not want to be late but it was rush hour. Although I was traveling a familiar route I sought assistance by opening Waze on my smartphone.

According to the Waze website it “is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app” that allows you to “join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money.” That sounded like exactly what I needed to make the best of drive time in this very heavy traffic.

The website promised “millions of drivers… working together towards a common goal: to outsmart traffic and get everyone the best route.” Many “friends” on the road would send alerts about “police, accidents, road hazards or traffic jams, all shared by other drivers in real-time.” That was what I needed for a timely arrival at my destination.

Only one problem. I knew the way to my destination. I had made this trip many times before and I knew all the shortcuts. So, when the directions of the traffic app seemed contrary to what I thought I knew, I ignored them and went the way that I knew would be “best.”

The first time I approached an intersection with a long line of vehicles stopped at the traffic light, I decided to bypass all of them waiting to go straight ahead. The right turn lane allowed me to bypass that long line of traffic. I was on my way smiling until I Waze told me that my estimated time of arrival was now 5 minutes later than before I made the turn. That irritated me.

The app adjusted my route accordingly. Then I did the same thing again. And again. Each time I failed to follow the directions I was given, time was added to my ETA.

I hope I am not revealing too much about myself but this was a learning experience for me. It helped me realize that instructions/directions are given for a reason. Whether it is an item with some assembly required or help with navigating a journey, my way might not be the better way. Directions/instructions are provided for my benefit. Ignoring them probably does not give me an advantage.

I know that in the grand scheme of things it will not make a lot of difference if I follow GPS directions when traveling or instructions when putting together a purchased item. Short cuts may not be a better alternative but it probably won’t matter most of the time. However, in some instances ignoring the instructions can be very detrimental.

This recent experience reminded me of the times I have read the Owner’s Manual of life- the Bible- but failed to follow the guidance it provided. While it does not always give specific and detailed directions for every experience, there are many directions that are pretty clear and many other principles that should not be ignored.

I don’t always want to “love (my) enemy and pray for those who mistreat (me).” Often I think I have a better way of dealing with folks that are not “on my side” but I know that taking another course of action or having another attitude is not good for me.

Turn the other cheek is what The Good Book tells me do to when someone does me wrong,. My natural instinct is to get even, strike back. Scripture instructs us to live peaceably with everyone but that it hard to do.

I am very well acquainted with The Bible. I know it pretty well. God help me to avoid “shortcuts.” Give me the desire and ability to follow the directions of the Scripture and apply the principles in my daily life and in my relationship with everyone.

 

Jamie Jenkins

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