I am an avid GPS user. I’d like to say it’s because I think GPS is convenient, but really, for me, the GPS is necessary. I am what my parents call “directionally challenged.” This means that sometimes I get turned around in my own town. I used to tell people that I can get to the important places: school, church and grandma’s house, but now those places are over 800 miles away. So when I moved to Searcy, that little voice telling me step-by-step instructions on where to go became a life saver.
The problem is, sometimes my GPS doesn’t actually know the best way to go. Sometimes, by no fault of her own, she takes me to a road that is closed, nonexistent or under construction. This puts my directionally disoriented brain into a tizzy. Where do I go? What am I supposed to do when Beebe Capps is under construction and I have to get to Tropical Smoothie?
The answer is just to keep driving.
My best friends, Kaylin and Emily, and I took a road trip this spring break. We went to five national parks, drove over 4,000 miles and took lots of pictures with Dr. McLarty’s photo on a stick. While we were on this “quest out West,” we followed our trusty GPS. However, there was one night that she failed us.
We were driving in the beautiful state of Utah — seriously, Utah is the most beautiful state I’ve ever been to — heading to the condo we had booked for the night. Everything was great. We were even going to get in at a decent time, but then we turned onto the final road. We made it about 100 feet before realizing the entrance to the mountain pass was sealed shut by about 10 feet of snow. We learned later that this road had been closed since November.
At first I thought, “No big deal, the GPS will reroute us.” Then I realized we were on a mountain, in the middle of nowhere, in Utah, where there was absolutely no service. Luckily, I had Kaylin and Emily. They kept me from having a mental breakdown and crying, which is usually what happens when I get lost. We decided to just keep driving. We ended up in a little town where our service returned and we were able to call the condo for directions.
In the end, we got to where we were going. It just took an hour and a half longer than expected. What this made me realize is that my reliance on my GPS to get me everywhere in life is not always realistic. As a senior, I am trying to map out the rest of my life, or at least the immediate future, and I don’t get a GPS. There is no little voice giving me step-by-step instructions on which job to apply to, or how to answer tough interview questions.
Oftentimes, I think we turn to God to be this GPS for us, expecting him to whisper, “take this job now” or “that job is a dead end.” And as much as my GPS-loving heart wishes that were how it worked, I know that it is not. I can’t rely on everything to be mapped out for me. What I have to remember is that I know my intended destination, and I know that if I get too lost, I can call on the ultimate roadside assistance. But the journey is part of the adventure, and sometimes you have to throw your GPS out the window and just keep driving.