My wife and I took a trip to Texas a few years ago where we were meeting family. We had never been there by ourselves before, so we borrowed a TomTom GPS to take us where we needed to go.
It was wonderful. A very soothing, British, female voice told us each step to take.
“Take the exit right, then, stay in the left lane.”
“Bear left, then, take the motorway.”
“After 80 yards, you have reached your destination.”
Even when I missed a turn, it would just reconfigure immediately and get me right where I needed to go, right to the parking lot of my destination.
We made an 8 hour trip and I didn’t have to look at a single map or print out directions from Google. So stress-free!
However, when my parents were leaving (a bit earlier than us) they asked us how to get back to the interstate.
I had no clue. In fact, I couldn’t even remember what interstate we were on. Or what towns we drove through. When I thought about it, all I did was whatever the TomTom told me to do and I paid attention to nothing else.
So, while I was on auto-pilot, I may have been getting the basic job done, but I couldn’t use my experience to help others, even with the basics.
I realize that I’ve sometimes done this with my faith, especially when I was younger.
I accepted Christ as my Savior and then just coasted on that. I followed the direction of the crowd and blended in, learning nothing, never even looking at my Bible.
It wasn't until about 9 years ago that I finally started to take my faith seriously, and I very quickly noticed changes in my life. I was gaining knowledge, confidence, willpower, self-esteem -- growing into the man of God I was meant to be -- by simply reading my Bible more often and praying in all situations.
And these small changes made bigger ones easier. Don't get me wrong, the big changes are still tough, and there are still some I'm working on, but they don't seem as overwhelming when I realize I don't face them alone, that I have the God of Creation in my corner.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. -2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
There is nothing wrong with using a TomTom to get somewhere. But when it comes to our faith, too many Christians just listen to the Pastor's direction on Sunday mornings and then coast the rest of the week.
If you want to grow and help others, you have to be active in your faith. Read, pray, grow.