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The Map of Life

Sixteen-year-old, Stephanie, was in the backseat of her parent’s car. They had decided to go on a road trip. She loved them, but was tired of them fighting all the time.

“You’re going the wrong way, Edward. This is not what the map says,” her mother, Gloria, said. ”Men never listen!”

“This way is faster,” her Dad replied sharply. “Why do you women think you are right all the time?”

Stephanie could tell a feud was about to break out and rolled her eyes. She knew what was coming next; the fake prayer. They always said it at the same time.

“Let’s pray about it,” Gloria said. “Lord, please help show him I am right.”

“Lord, please tell her I know what I’m doing.” Edward huffed.

After that, the argument again resumed. They were yelling and words were flying around that should not have been said. There was a bumper sticker on the back of their car that read, “I love Jesus”. They were faithful to go to church every Sunday, but they were not living their lives committed to the Lord.

Stephanie was frustrated and could not hold back any longer. “Both of you are going about this the wrong way,” she blurted out. “Have you guys ever stopped to ask which way God wants you to go? You always think your way is right, but without God, your map is useless.”

Her parents looked at her stunned. “What? You don’t think I can hear everything you say?” she asked annoyed.

Gloria turned and looked at her daughter. “Are we really that bad, sweetheart?”

“You have no idea,” Stephanie said as she turned to look out the window.

“Edward, do you think we have been doing this all wrong?” she heard her Mom ask her Dad. She was intrigued because her Mother sounded so convicted. “Maybe we should take a moment to really pray. It seems like we have been trying to go our own way and not ask God where He wants us to go. How have we fallen so far?”

Her Dad pulled over to the side of the road. There were no other cars on the small country lane. “Stephanie, would you please pray with us; a real prayer this time?” he asked.

Stephanie was surprised but excited. Maybe things would start to change in not just her life, but her family’s as well.

They all took hands as her Dad opened his mouth to pray. “Heavenly Father, please forgive us for taking You for granted. We humbly ask that You would join us, not only on this trip, but also in our daily lives. Please be our map to get us through everyday life. We love You, Lord. Thank You. Amen.”

Stephanie saw the tears in her Mother’s eyes. She knew things would not be easy to change overnight, but there was a genuine heart change in all of them.

Her Mom turned and said, “I’m so sorry for what we have put you through. Please forgive us.”

“It is fine, Mom. I’m just glad we can all work together as a family. I love you both.”

“And we love you very much,” her Mom replied. “Families are wonderful gifts from God. When we trust in God, He will always lead and guide us.”

Stephanie sat back in her seat and contemplated the things that had just taken place. If they could really change she would be so thankful. She had been praying for her parents for so long. She knew God deserved all the glory because if anyone could change her parents it was Him. “Thank You, Lord,” she prayed aloud to herself. “I know You have answered my prayers. Now we can get back to the real map; You!”

Original Story by Tricia Draper