Of Faith and My GPS


When I was a teenager and first driving on my own, there were two things that scared me—no, petrified me.  One was road construction.  I needed to know exactly where I was going and didn’t want to deviate from my route, so I wanted no detours along the way.   That leads to my second fear, something that could put me in full-blown panic mode, and that’s getting lost.

These days, of course, those things aren’t as much of an issue for me anymore. I can follow detours and realize if I just slow down and pay a little bit of attention through road construction, it will all be just fine. I still panic a little when I’m lost but realize that eventually I’ll find my way home.  I still have my moments, though.

Once, when my husband and I first moved out to California and I was apartment hunting in Santa Monica, I got lost and had to call Greg from a pay phone. (Remember those?) I told him where I was, and he started to direct me.

“Just drive west…”

Cutting him off, I shouted into the phone, “WEST? Talk to me about LEFT or RIGHT! How am I supposed to know which way WEST is?!”

To which he slowly and calmly replied,” Kelly, you’re in Santa Monica. By the beach. The ocean. That’s west.”

Um, yeah.

So I did not inherit my dad’s sense of direction. His penchant for cursing during stressful times, yes, but that’s not nearly as helpful. Thank God for MapQuest and cell phones. I could now call my husband without getting out of the car and have him direct me to familiar ground (with, by the way, the additional aid of my car’s built-in compass that actually does tell me what direction I’m traveling in).

But the Super Smart people of the world didn’t just stop with giving us cell phones and Google. Nope. They came up with the GPS, the most amazing piece of genius ever to get plugged into a cigarette lighter.

My mother asked for a GPS last Christmas, so my sisters and I chipped in and bought her one. I had never seen one in action before, but I borrowed it for the first time when I was off to a job interview. Holy wow! I swore it was invented just for me.

But here’s the thing. It has spoiled me. I want more. I want all the journeys in my life to go as smoothly as the ones I travel with a GPS.

Where is my life GPS?

While I’m a little more comfortable getting lost on the road these days, getting lost in my life, well, not so much. I suppose that’s where faith and God come in. Yes, I pray a lot, but who knows in what form the answer will come, if it even comes at all?  Faith is so frustrating that way. I pray for answers, but how will you know the answers when and if they do come?

When you hit those proverbial crossroads in life, wouldn’t it make life for us directionally challenged folks so much easier if the Almighty could manifest himself/herself in a GPS? I need the voice that very clearly tells you where to go: “In point three miles, exit right.” And as you get closer, it reminds you, “Exit right.”

If you made a wrong turn in life, how reassuring would it be to be signaled by “Recalculating.”?  (Yeah, I’d probably be hearing that one a lot).

Of course, for a GPS to get you where you want to go, you still have to have a destination to program in. What would mine be?  How about the intersection of career fulfillment and familial bliss? Is that even on the map? Can you get there from here? I’d like to think so. The only trouble is, I have no idea what the travel time is going to be.


  1. Irene Landon says:

    a GPS for life? Now that is interesting. I, also a directionally challenged person – so you come by it honestly, prays to Allah in the form of my GPS. BUT LIFE??
    Since there is none, or so I hear, look to the title of your blog. Journey when necessary but never be afraid to detour!


  2. Helenie says:

    I am so happy to be among fellow directionally-challenged people!!! But that’s not the point of my comment. I have gotten pretty good turning things “over” to God and sometimes, even, staying quiet enough to hear the direction I’m supposed to go. But my problem is TIMING. They say “God’s time, not mine.” Here is where I crumble, I need answers to life altering questions at, oh, say, by 3:00 next Saturday. Okay? God’s time, not MINE? Who came up with this rule?


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