We inherited a very peculiar instrument with the vehicle we rented at the airport: a GPS. Not a helpful GPS like the one we have at home. No, this one was temperamental. Big time!
It all began when we set out to find a grocery store in Seattle. We dutifully programmed the GPS with the address for the nearest Wal-Mart Superstore, and proceeded to follow the directions. When we were told to turn right on a street that was closed due to construction however, we ignored her (The GPS had a female voice, even in French!). She wouldn’t bulge, but continued to insist repeatedly that we “return to the highlighted route”. We had to be creative, but we eventually drove far enough away from the GPS’s “pet route” that she found a new way to Wal-Mart.
The next time we ignored the GPS, our fate was far worse. We had decided to turn off the indicated route to see some hoodoos (not to be confused with “voodoos”!) In British Columbia. She reminded us over and over again to “return to the highlighted route”. When we repeatedly ignored her annoying message, she got even: We were suddenly charged with an extra 150 kms to our final destination!
Had we imagined this, or were we really farther from where we would be residing for the night? We weren’t sure, so we didn’t drag our feet. We decided to try a little experiment, however: As soon as we discovered a gas station, we stopped to fill our tank, hoping that when the GPS reset itself it would have forgotten its anger and the extra 150 km would disappear. No such luck. As the machine slowly empowered herself after our little “rest stop”, she continued to insist on those extra 150 kms!
We continued to drive down the road, mile after mile, until we found a small rest area on the right side of the road. Much to the relief of my kids, we stopped. We thought we still had 200 kms to drive, but once the car restarted the GPS suddenly indicated that we were only 50 kms from our hotel! I could almost hear her thoughts: “Ha ha! I got them good this time! We’ll see if they ignore me next time!”
Throughout our trip this particular GPS continued to tell us to turn left or right on non-existent roads, or even better, she cautioned us to drive on land instead of following the wet Alaska Marine Highway. We finally decided to use her as an unreliable backup to our handy road map. Funny, the road map never got us lost! Nor did it ever try to “get even”!
Too often in life we rely on secondary sources that lead us to err, and sometimes to unplanned addictions. I know of only one source that is reliable 100% of the time: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (Ps 119:105 NIV)
The only time this guide ever gets annoying is when we don’t like what it says!
Those who listen attentively to God’s Word avoid disappointment and aggravation, for it always leads us in the right direction.
Would anyone out there like an unpredictable GPS? I know where you can find one!