I really do not like Garmin. We had purchased the GPS device while on a trip back home from visiting our daughter and son-in-law in South Carolina. At first, I became mesmerized with the woman’s voice, how she knew every turn in advance, specific conveniences were listed on the device’s screen. Wow! Then, it began, “Recalculating.” I missed a turn – actually because I was watching the shiny, new GPS screen and didn’t turn where I was told.
The more we drove, the more she interrupted, “Recalculating.” A little annoying now. Toward the end of our trip, her voice growing hoarse at my every misdirection, I thought I heard her say, “Oh, have it your way. I give up.” The lesson for me? The teacher (in this case, Garmin) is only as successful as the willingness of the student (me) to be taught.
Proverbs 16:9 has continually spoken inspiration to me at several turns in life, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” I need that kind of wisdom taught to me. Often. With clarity. Even at times when I ignore it. It is essential for me in attempting to stay on the right path along my journey.
It is essential because the Bible – every word, every verse, every chapter, every book – is the only trustworthy essential guide for my life. For all our lives. Collectively, for all believers in community.
We may choose, as Christian educators or individual believers, to meander through our study of God’s Word. Or, some would take a menu approach, selecting portions that give us the most direction in lives at various stages – from preschoolers to children to students to adults. Ultimately, the long-term success comes with having a map. A trusted source that we can depend on for perfect direction. Individually? Yes. Collectively? Definitely.
I cannot remember the first person I heard say, “The textbook of Sunday School is the Bible!” But, I know it is something I say often to leaders in practically every local church with whom I work. I say it not because I love to hear the sound of my voice. It is my consistent directive to listen for that “still small voice” of God which can come to us any time we are diligent in seeking His guidance through His Word.
Phil Miller is the Director of Discipleship for the Baptist General Convention of Texas