19 February 2019
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that the thoughts in his heart fashioned nothing but wickedness all day long. The Lord regretted having made man on the earth, and his heart grieved. ‘I will rid the earth’s face of man, my own creation,’ the Lord said ‘and of animals also, reptiles too, and the birds of heaven; for I regret having made them.’ But Noah had found favour with the Lord.
The Lord said to Noah, ‘Go aboard the ark, you and all your household, for you alone among this generation do I see as a good man in my judgement. Of all the clean animals you must take seven of each kind, both male and female; of the unclean animals you must take two, a male and its female (and of the birds of heaven also, seven of each kind, both male and female), to propagate their kind over the whole earth. For in seven days’ time I mean to make it rain on the earth for forty days and nights, and I will rid the earth of every living thing that I made.’ Noah did all that the Lord ordered.
Seven days later the waters of the flood appeared on the earth.
The disciples had forgotten to take any food and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. Then he gave them this warning, ‘Keep your eyes open; be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.’ And they said to one another, ‘It is because we have no bread.’ And Jesus knew it, and he said to them, ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you not yet understand? Have you no perception? Are your minds closed? Have you eyes that do not see, ears that do not hear? Or do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves among the five thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?’ They answered, ‘Twelve.’ ‘And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?’ And they answered, ‘Seven.’ Then he said to them, ‘Are you still without perception?’
“Do you still not understand?”
I love the GPS I have in my car. It has pretty cool graphics and a very soothing voice-over. Most of all, it has been a life-saver from the countless times I sat clueless trying to figure out where my destinations were, or when I find myself trying to find the quickest possible way to get to where I am going and worrying that I would not make it there in time. I love it also for the times my GPS has steered me away from endless frustrations and hours lost, getting caught in jams.
As great as these features of my GPS may be, there is one aspect which I love even more… for all the times I have taken a wrong turn, and trust me, there are plenty of those despite the best efforts of my GPS, it does this wonderful thing – it recalculates the route to get me back on track.
God is my GPS and He recalculates my route for me for the countless times that I have taken a wrong turn. And the fact that I still take wrong turns despite having such wonderful technology at my service, is due to no fault of the GPS, but to my lack of attention, to my confusion, to my stubbornness and pride (for the times I said to myself against my GPS “nah … I am pretty sure it was this way when I drove on this road 20 years ago”,) only to discover, that a certain part of Singapore has since changed beyond recognition.
God is the divine navigator in our lives and he has an in-built Google Map that is accurate and updated at every second; in fact, He is the Google map. When we turn to him and allow Him to lead us (and this is usually the big IF in our lives), we get to our destination safely, efficiently and in precise time. We will not encounter any undue traffic jams (although traffic jams will always be around, which we cannot avoid because of sin in this world), and we will not waste ‘fuel’ in terms of emotional, physical and spiritual energy wasted along the way. And, of course, most importantly, we get to the place we are supposed to get to – the places in our lives where God’s presence can be found and experienced. With God as our GPS, we get to our ultimate final destination – the bosom of God himself, when we complete our earthly road-trip.
My GPS is also infinitely patient with me – regardless of how many times I make a wrong turn, especially for the times I choose to disregard it. It does not scold me or mock me, nor give up on me (I trust your GPS system is the same?) – it simply recalculates. It finds the new path which I need to take, even if sometimes, a U-turn may be needed. It shows me how to get back on track. It stays true to its purpose and mission – which is to get me to my destination.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Justus Teo)
Prayer: Father help us. Our lives are confusing and complicated, our wills are stubborn and prideful, our world is full of deception, temptation, dangers and perils. Our souls are tired and battered and we often feel like not carrying on in the journey. It is easy to get lost, discouraged and tempted to stray away from you. We need you to recalculate our way back to you, our true north, where we can always find light, hope, clarity, strength and salvation. Where we can come home to you – our Father who loves us and rejoice that we have arrived safely back into your arms.
Thanksgiving: Father, thank you the gifts of your love for us, of your Son, the Holy Spirit, our Blessed Mother Mary, the Saints and the sacramental life of the Catholic faith. In these you have given us the GPS we need to bring us safely back to you in all the cross-oads of our lives and for when we make the final journey back to you.