While on a home visit to a hospice patient with a nurse last week, I found that I had lost my iPhone. A feeling of panic gripped me for an instant and I realized I must have dropped my phone in the taxi which we had taken earlier. By God's grace we were able to contact the taxi driver and he sent the phone to my home as he was in that vicinity.
This experience led me to look into the Find My iPhone App in case I lose my phone again. It made me appreciate the wonder of the GPS - Global Positioning System - technology. With the GPS we can locate an object as small as a phone!
During Christmas many would have been overjoyed if they had received a smart phone for a present. But we are reminded at Christmas that the greatest gift that God has given us is His Son, Jesus Christ. In Christ we have the blessed assurance that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Through Christ, we have the Holy Spirit as our Heavenly Father's GPS (God's Positioning Service) so that we will be able to follow and do His will.
But like the Find my iPhone App, I need to first download the GPS of our Heavenly Father just as I needed to download the App. We have to "download" the Holy Spirit by inviting Jesus Christ into our lives. Unfortunately, having done so, we fail to live by the Holy Spirit and be guided by our Lord’s GPS. With modern technology we may be more connected with one another but we are becoming more distracted and disconnected from God.
We have not been taught the value and importance of solitude and silence to listen to the voice of God. This is not only for our own person growth. Solitude and silence is to lead us to community - to become a part of the body of Christ. Henri Nouwen found that it is in solitude that we come to know our fellow human beings not as partners who can satisfy our deepest needs, but as brothers and sisters with whom we are called to give visibility to God's embracing love. He made the point that in solitude we discover that community is not a common ideology, but a response to a common call. How true it is that it is in solitude that we realize that community is not made but given.
This is the second lesson I learnt from the Find My iPhone App. To find the smartphones that we have lost, we need another smartphone to locate it. This is why God gives us the gift of the church community for we need the support and encouragement of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to fulfill God’s will for our lives.
The wonderful news of the gospel is that in Christ, God will never lose track of us even though we may stray away from His love and His will for our lives. Our problem is that we have a tendency to stray from God. We need to realise that we are lost so that we take the necessary step to be found by God. All we need to do is simply to understand the wonderful truth that Christ is in us so that we can activate our Lord's GPS.
Let us encourage one another to make full use of the GPS of our loving Heavenly Father in the New Year. My warmest wishes for a New Year filled with the love, joy and peace of our Lord.