By PPL Executive Director, Deborah Hollifield
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
I recently drove 3000 miles and had to rely on my GPS most of the way. I am particularly anxious about crossing high overpasses and sweeping bridges because of a bit of vertigo, and I like to know when one is coming up so I can steel my nerves or take a bypass. But my GPS only gives me a thousand-mile overview, so sometimes I have to zoom in to make sure I know where the next turn is, followed by a need to “recenter” the guiding cursor again.
Still, because I have to keep my eyes on the road and can’t just gaze at the GPS all the way, I will sometimes be surprised by an unexpected bridge or a high curved overpass, and have to commit to navigating it. The best way I have found to do that is to put a death grip on my steering wheel, focus on the immediate horizon and follow its line, all while singing “Jesus Loves Me” at the top of my lungs until I reach the other side. Belting out “Jesus Loves Me” while focusing on the immediate horizon is the only way I can keep my fear at bay and my car under control.
The recent cultural chaos has brought on a kind of spiritual vertigo. All our familiar traffic helps are upside down, red lights now mean “Go” and green lights mean “Stop.” Abortion is recast as “healthcare.” We’re told a fetus is not a baby until it’s born. We’re trying to navigate an ethical Christian life, on a strange road, without careening out of control at high speed.
God’s Word is our GPS, pointing the way and allowing us to zoom in to get our bearings. Every day we get a chance to “recenter” and reorient ourselves through prayer. Not letting the future overwhelm us by keeping our eyes on the immediate horizon, because there is trouble enough for the day (Matt. 6:34) – focusing on Jesus and reminding ourselves that Jesus is our refuge, strength and help in trouble (Psalm 46:1-2) – is a good formula for getting us to our destination.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9