I honestly don’t know how people lived without GPS. I would be a lost mess without it.
I’ve been traveling for a living for 8 years now and it’s with astonishment that I think back to that first summer of life on the road. A bunch of my friends and I jumped into a white, old 15 passenger van we affectionately named Lazarus because of its death and resurrection during our very first trip. I know that this might blow some of your minds — but none of us had smart phones. At the time, smart phones were relatively new. You could purchase a GPS system for your car, but those were expensive and we were barely college graduates.
So what did we do? We printed our Mapquest pages! Yes, for each location we printed out four (or more!) pages for each location. No bueno.
As one would suspect, it didn’t take long for us to get lost. The problem with printed directions is that there is no one to redirect you if you make a wrong turn. Or what do you do when one of the roads you’re supposed to take is closed?
Thankfully we hired a drummer to come with us that first Summer — a drummer who happened to be one of the only people I knew with an iPhone. The first few times we got lost, drummer friend would yell-out from the back of the van, “where are we trying to go?” He would then work his phone magic and we would easily find ourselves back on track to our location.
By the end of that summer 3-4 of our members had iPhones — and we never printed out directions again.
I think one of the worst feelings is being lost in a strange place without a map or any feasible way to get where you want to be. For the last 3 years we’ve been singing about how this world is “Not Our Home.” The Bible tells us over and over again that we are strangers here. That we are wanders and travelers, aliens and visitors. We are ambassadors here for the greater Kingdom as we ourselves are trying to learn how to take on the characteristics and character of a citizen of Heaven.
David felt the fear that comes with this truth.
For now, we are here in this strange world. There are all kinds of maps and examples of how to live like an earth-dweller. We know the laws and the values of this temporary home. But how are we to know what our forever Home is like? How will we know the laws and values of this great Kingdom that is now ours? Only by listening the Kingdom Builder.
Without the instructions and commandments of God, we are lost here in this strange land. David felt that – the question is, do we?
God’s Word is meant to be our road map and our compass. You could even say that God’s Word is a bit like comfort food – a taste of home in the midst of a foreign country. David was desperate to have a bit of his Home with him throughout his journey. I want to long for Heavenly things in the same way. God’s Word is a piece of our forever Home — a treasure that can give us hope and help as we spend our time in this foreign and hostile world.
David implies that God’s commands were his solace in his exile: they reminded him of home and they showed him the way thither, and therefore he begged that they might never be hidden from him.
Without [His command] we are but like poor pilgrims and wayfaring men in a strange country, not able to discern the way home.
The dwellers of the earth cannot show the way to heaven; and therefore David seeks no guide among them, but prays the Lord to direct him.