Getting Back on Course


We can rest in the fact that if we happen to miss a turn, God will find a way to get us back on course.

When You Think You Missed His Voice

We took Siri along with us on our family vacation to California. Had to. We needed her to tell us how to get to the next hotel in the next town. And she did.

Our conversations with her were normal most of the time. Just what you’d expect.

“Directions to Monterey, please.”

“Turn left on CA-1 in 500 feet . . .” And so on.

Occasionally the conversation got a little testy.

“Let’s stop for a bathroom break,” my wife said.

“Sure, no problem,” I said.

“Proceed to route,” Siri interjected.

“Not now, Siri,” I told her as I pulled into a parking lot. “We’re stopping for a moment, but everything will be okay. We’ll get back on the road in a minute.”

“Turn right on Franklin Street, then merge north on entrance ramp.”

“Are you kidding? I just pointed the car in a slightly different direction! What happened to the original map?”

“Proceed to route.”

“Stop saying that! Can somebody shut her off, please?”

“In a quarter mile, take a U-turn.”


Siri doesn’t understand bathroom breaks, being a computer and all.

The Beauty of an Alternate Path

Some of her redirects were greatly appreciated, though. Even with her relentless prodding, I occasionally missed a turn because the roads didn’t look the way she described them.

Without getting upset—there are times when an annoyingly flat voice is better than the alternative—she came up with a new set of directions. She didn’t chide me, nor did she say, “Well, you simply can’t get there from here. It’s too late. You’ve missed your chance.”

No, she calmly recalculated and gave us another route. Sometimes the alternate route turned out even better than the original one. More scenic, more adventurous, even less traffic. It was rarely a genuine hardship.

God and Siri

God and Siri aren’t often alike, but this is one of the ways they are. Many people feel enormous pressure to “get it right” when trying to follow God’s direction, and then they spend their lives second-guessing their choices or lamenting lost opportunities if they think they missed his “perfect will.”

And it’s true that we can harden our hearts, close our ears, and continue a thousand miles in the wrong direction if we have decided to go our own way. But apart from rebellion—when we’re truly trying to follow him—we don’t have to stress about hearing him perfectly. We can rest in the fact that if we happen to miss a turn, he will find a way to get us back on course.

In the process, we sometimes get to see scenery we wouldn’t have otherwise seen and discover some things about God we wouldn’t have otherwise discovered. It isn’t wasted time.

When we have put ourselves in God’s hands and asked him to lead us, the burden is then on him to get us from point A to point B. We still need to respond, but we don’t have to manufacture the results. He leads us down the right path at the right time. And he never gets flustered by an occasional pit stop along the way.

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