A favorite app on my phone has got to be Waze. The GPS device that helps navigate how to get from wherever you are to your destination has proven invaluable. It’s hard to imagine not having that feature… when I think back to how we used to have to write out directions, trying to read that handwriting (perhaps that’s just a personal problem) and then keep attentive to the landmarks and road signs along the way – it’s not a surprise how often I’d get lost or delayed. Now simply typing in the address on my phone – sometimes it even finishes doing that for me as well (which is kind of creepy to be honest) – it not only calculates the route and gives vocal and visual prompts… it will constantly check for accidents, traffic jams, road construction to give you the fastest, easiest route. Even if you miss that exit or made a wrong turn, the thing will re-calculate other routes to get you to your destination. That alone has me using it even when I’m sure of where I’m going. I’m pretty sure I know how to get to my Mother’s house, but I’ll still use Waze just in case there’s something ahead that I’m not aware of.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that spiritually, we have a Waze, a GPS as well: No one can come to me unless the Father draw Him. How beautiful and amazing it is to realize what Jesus is saying here. We’re that important to Him, that loved by Him, that God is constantly calling out to us, directing us to Him. Through the scriptures, through Church teaching He is advising us how to avoid all kinds of obstacles, traffic jams, “having an accident” ourselves… Through His Holy Spirit working in our lives He’s prompting us for the most scenic, direct and joy-filled route.
Being a thick-headed, Italian man, it might not come as a surprise that on occasion, I disagree with Waze. “That can’t be right” I think when it’s telling me to get off the Parkway take Route 78 West to get to my Mother’s house. As I ignore this computer voice who’s been nothing but helpful telling him to “shut up, I’m not getting off at that exit” and then begin to really stew when I get about a mile further all I can see are brake lights ahead of me and my arrival time which should be 10-15 min now jumps to an hour fifteen. I’ve got no one to blame but myself.
Spiritually that’s relatable as well. I know there were times I knew what I was supposed to do and decided not to anyway and fell into sin. There were times where I felt the Lord even tugging at my heart to do something that for whatever reason I ignored and then was surprised why what I chose instead wasn’t in any way fulfilling on any level.
Fortunately with the Lord, no matter how lost, how out of the way we travel, He is constantly re-calculating. When I’ve “crashed” in my sins, I’m just one confession away from getting back on track… When I’ve missed a turn I should’ve taken that job – it wasn’t offering as much money as this other one, but in my heart, something told me to go there – God’s not saying, “told you so… enjoy a crappy life now loser”. Wherever it is we find ourselves, God never ceases to draw us to Himself. He will continue to prompt us with the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we will constantly meet Jesus disguised in people we encounter. God will never stop recalculating a route for each of us to be on the road to fullness of life here and now and eternal life with Him forever. May we not be thick-headed and ignore those directions.