I am a devoted Toyota Prius owner. By how much? I’m on my 4th or 5th one. I don’t remember which. Maybe I have a “Pree” obsession to add to my obsession list. If you’re not a Prius, or for that matter, a Toyota fan, never mind. This isn’t an essay advocating Toyota Prius ownership. I do like the Priuses though.
It was my first Prius that introduced me to the GPS. I forget what GPS stands for but it replaces my MAP. I haven’t used one of those roll-it-up things since. It’s not that I had trouble reading a map, or minded all that much rolling one back up, it’s just that I’m electronically minded. I love gadgets and if they can do something useful, well, even better.
It is helpful on the job because I’m a substitute teacher’s assistant. I usually go to a different school each day. Occasionally, I go to a school on the end of town I don’t know like the back of my head. I plug in the address and have no anxiety, well, hardly any, that I will land at the school. If I do have a problem, it’ll be because I made a wrong turn, or missed a turn, or passed right by it. I’d like to blame my GPS when I had to make a u-turn, but I’d only be kidding myself.
My GPS has a female voice. She tells me directions as I am on the way. If a turn is coming up, she’ll let me know in advance of whether it’ll be a right or left turn. If I’m on the freeway, she’ll let me know in advance of the exit I need to take. It is useful to know ahead of time when you need to move over to the left or right. That’s especially true when you’re sharing the road with drivers who drive as if the road has their name on it.
It’s hard to get lost with a GPS provided I’m paying attention and following directions. But if I get distracted or confused and miss a turn or exit or go down the wrong street, my GPS will not give up on me. Whether I make one mistake or several, she won’t call it a day. My GPS will instruct me to make a u-turn or if I really get way off the path, it’ll re-calculate my route.
The only way my GPS can’t help me is if I ignore her directions or even turn her off. I might know the way by myself, but then again, I might not.
I have another GPS but it isn’t in my car or house. It’s in my heart where God’s Holy Spirit abides. There’s not a single day the Spirit is silent. I’m not forced to listen to it any more than I’m forced to listen to my GPS. If I listen and follow the directions, I’ll be where I need to be, meet who I need to meet, and say what I need to say on any given day. If I don’t listen, I’ll be more lost than when I don’t listen to my GPS.
I remember a trip going from my hometown of Dallas to Washington D.C. where I was living at the time. While I was just heading into Nashville city limits on the interstate, my GPS told me to take an exit. I thought that was weird but I did it. I found myself seeing more of Nashville than I expected to. I was driving by neighborhood streets, schools, local businesses, etc. Then, I took a turn as directed and I was on a road headed straight for downtown Nashville.
Nashville! Yikes! I wondered if my GPS had malfunctioned. What was she thinking? I had plugged in my destination as being D.C.; not Nashville! However, I stayed on course. I didn’t deviate even though I had my doubts. Just before I was about to enter the skyscrapers, my GPS told me to take a right turn. I did so and found myself seconds later back on the Interstate. I thought, “How could I ever doubt my GPS. She hasn’t let me down yet.”
I should think the same about the GPS in my heart. When has it ever led me down a path to a dead end? Not yet.