Mapquest. GPS navigation systems. Google Maps. Shelves and shelves of travel books and maps in our bookstores. The truth is that we never have to travel anywhere without a map that tells us how to get to and around pretty much every place in the world.
Our spiritual journey is utterly different. As one of my directees observed not long ago, it is a journey without a map.
Jesus says, “Come follow me.” The invitation doesn’t come with a pre-planned roadmap. We start on a path without knowing where it will lead and how it will turn out. Mary says yes to the Angel’s message without knowing it will lead her to the foot of the cross. Peter says yes when Jesus says “feed my sheep,” not knowing it will lead to his martyrdom. And the same is true for us – yes to Jesus invitation is yes to a journey without a map.
I have a miserable sense of direction, so I Mapquest pretty much everyplace I’m driving that I haven’t already driven at least 5 or 6 times. The alternative is trusting that I can figure out a route on my own, and I don’t have a whole lot of trust in myself to do that.
But I’ve grown in my ability to trust that if I say yes to Jesus he will lead me on my way. The way is not always clear – the discernment of path requires much more on our parts than plugging a destination into a GPS. But with Jesus by our side, we can safely journey, even without a map.