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Navigation by Feel

At MIT they’re experimenting with touch. That is, GPS guidance for your driving experience by vibration through sensors attached to your skin.  Skip the visual and auditory distractions, a tickle tells you to turn right or left.  That’s cool! And, they suggest, a possible option for the vision or hearing-impaired.

Touch sensation is an unsung hero for sure. Kinesthetically speaking, it’s key for me. Samantha, a 17 year old golfer I enjoyed watching this week, reminded me of this. She hit chip shot after chip shot to the practice green. Hitting, watching, adjusting her hands. Hitting, watching, adjusting. She plays by feel.

It’s all in the hands. Her only connection between body and golf ball was the club she gripped. The transmission between implement and implementation was in her hands.

Am I guilty of waiting for God to put something in my hands when what He intends has been placed there already? Not to be grasped, or acquired or even set in my hands. But already there, within them? Is that tingling sensation a God-sense?

What a gift, touch. To be able to touch someone with the gift in my hands. Not to awe or amaze, but just to touch. Is it such a stretch to think God might guide me by just such a mechanism?

 

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Step by step instructions: God’s GPS for all creation

Wouldn’t it be great if I could punch God into my GPS?

Turn right here.
In 6 tenths of a mile, exit right on Route 28.
Keep left on the ramp
Left on Home Rd.
You have arrived.

I especially like that last part. Of course I am ever doubting my nav system. I mean, does it really know the best route? Has it taken traffic into consideration? I’ll bet I can take a back route that is shorter and will save me time. Just give me the address.

Pretty soon we are arguing with each other.

Nav system: Turn here.

Me: I’m turning down there!

Nav: recalculating…

Me: Oh man, where am I?

Nav: Make a U-turn.

Actually, this sounds quite a bit like God and me. I’m thinking I may have a God-implanted Nav system after all. Turn here…no, I have a better way…oops… It’s that doing as it says thing. Honestly, I’d much rather He just tell me where we’re both gonna end up and leave the surface roads to me.

But I’m certain that’s not how it is supposed to work. I know because my best navigation days are the ones where I just listen for the next instruction. Can’t say it sounds anything like my Nav system voice. It’s more of a notion that pops into my head that insists I write it or read it or call it or research it or…

This morning my desk is covered with opportunity. Literally, everywhere I look something begs me to get busy on it. My prayer: “Which one?!” Quite profound, I know. And wouldn’t you know, God insists I write the card to a woman who has had hip surgery. Oh, He makes it make sense; I need to go to the post office anyway to mail my check to the IRS. Certified. Return receipt requested. Thank you for what you do, Government.

And that’s like God, to make it seem like this one thing is the only thing meant for this moment. the perfect choice. So I do. I write. And then God points out that our policy (His and mine) is to place the note in the mailbox directly after writing – not take it to the post office. Ohhhkaaay. So He’s tricked me into writing this card. But it’s nice out and I skip on down the porch steps, checking out the mulch that needs sweeping and…there, on the ground under the small holly tree is a nest. About the size of the palm of my hand. I can see the soft dog fluff lining the inside. On the way back from the mailbox I stoop to carefully examine this little treasure.

A tiny masterpiece that fits easily in my fingers.

A tiny masterpiece that fits easily in my fingers.

It weighs almost nothing. I examine its construction. Among the dog fluff are a couple leaves, and bits and pieces of sticks and stems that have been shaped and rounded. I see tufts of string from the carpeting we used to line the dog ramp. There’s a little plastic mesh; it probably came from the netting around our garden.

What I am holding in my hand is a masterpiece, of design, construction and ingenuity. How did it come to be? By the instincts of a mother bird who, step by step, followed the “voice” inside her. She doesn’t know “family.” She doesn’t know “planning.” She doesn’t know “what’s growing inside her.” She just knows what to do and does it.

And I look at this nest in amazement. The intricacies of its composition. The perfection of its design. It most certainly was several days’ effort in a season of breeding and care-taking and launching from the nest. This sparrow or tufted titmouse or black-capped chickadee mother just called on what was available to fulfill her need. And it was provided for her. Now THAT is amazing navigation.

Imagine if we had that implanted in us.

“Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are?” ~ Matthew 6:26

Imagine if we trusted that all we need would be provided for us.
Imagine if we trusted that the know-how was already in us.
Imagine if we simply built our day like this mother built her nest.
 
Seeking…finding…crafting…then waiting.
 
Thank you, Pauline, for your inspiration. May your day be instinctive and very productive.
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