“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” —Psalm 139:23

A couple of years ago, I was using the library at the Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City. I had spent a great deal of time there as a grad student and was fairly familiar with the area. After I had finished my research, I got into my car, told my GPS my next location, and headed on my way to MidAmerica Nazarene University. I drove carefree as I loudly sang, enjoyed the scenery, and continually pushed aside this little feeling that kept creeping up telling me I was going the wrong direction. Whether it was my distracted thoughts or the overly-trusting part of me that never argued with the little GPS voice, I don’t know; I simply kept driving.

As I drove, I passed by sights like Worlds of Fun, and I still remember thinking to myself, “Wow! I didn’t realize this place was so close to Olathe!” At this point, if you are familiar with the Kansas City area, you know that I am driving in the absolute wrong direction.

After I had been driving for about 25 minutes, I heard the familiar voice of my GPS informing me I would arrive at MNU in less than five minutes. Five minutes later, I learned the fun fact that MNU has a campus in Liberty, Missouri. I had inadvertently driven 40 miles in the opposite direction from where I was trying to go. I laughed about it then, and I still laugh about it now.

However, more than being just another experience that reconfirms the fact that I am horrendous with directions, it has also become one of my favorite Holy Spirit teaching moments in my life. You see, as I listened to the GPS with every turn, I followed mindlessly and lacked intention. I aimlessly traveled and was shocked when I ended up in a place that was far from my original goal. What did I expect would happen?

The same is true with our lives. When we are distracted and listen to whichever voice is currently the loudest, we arrive at places in life we never intended. The psalmist’s cry to have God search every part of his being is a cry that is dripping with intention. This cry reveals a person who desires such closeness with the Father and who knows this only occurs in a relationship marked with intentionality and humility.

I wonder if there is an area in your current reality that is characterized by complacency.

If there is, what would it look like to cry out to the Father, to the One who delighted in you as you were being formed in the womb, and ask Him to bring new awareness and growth to your life?

Prayer for the week: Father, You know every detail of Your children’s lives. Would You search us and transform us so that we can grow closer to You and be the people You’ve called us to be.

Sarah Fredricks is Associate Pastor at Living Hope Church of the Nazarene in Olathe, Kansas, USA.

Written for Coffee Break.