Friday, February 26, 2016

On and Off the Road ~ Do you need a GPS?

In 2008, The Man and I flew to New York City one weekend to watch the Yankees play in old Yankee Stadium before it was demolished, and also to take in a Mets game while we were there. It would be a fast and furious trip with lots of unfamiliar ground to cover.

Before we left home, our daughter handed her GPS to her father. “Here, Dad,” she said. “Just in case you need this to get around while you’re there.” 

The Man had used a GPS before, but found it mainly an annoyance. He prides himself on reading maps and is a great navigator, in general. And, like most men, whenever he does happen to get lost, he a) never admits it, and b) refuses to stop and ask for directions. After all, he’s not lost; he’s just turned around. Why would he need a GPS? But, to my happy surprise, her father agreed to take the GPS. 

After our plane landed, we rented a car and powered up the GPS. 

It seemed the first order of business would be selecting a proper spokesperson. Let's see. There was Bonnie, Lori, Mandy, and Richard. We tried them all, and in the end, we selected Mandy. Her voice was clear, yet gentle, and most pleasing to the ear.

Things between Mandy and The Man were a bit rocky at first. Mandy would issue a directive and if he disagreed with her he would look at me and say, “Turn her off,” in a rather harsh tone. So, I’d turn her off. 

Or, Mandy might say, “At the end of the road, turn left.” But when The Man got to the end of the road, he wasn’t convinced. “I know she said turn left, but I think we need to turn right.” And so, right it was, only to discover a few miles later that it should have been left after all.

In the beginning, this kind of thing happened fairly often, but, eventually, the girl ruled. If Mandy said it, The Man did it. Slam-bam-thank-you-ma'am. That’s not to say Mandy didn’t lead us astray a few times, but, hey, nobody’s perfect. And I’m totally convinced that if Mandy hadn’t been with us in New York City, we would still be roaming the streets in a rented car. 

I have to hand it to the gal. Unlike some people, Mandy’s feathers never got ruffled. She never lost her cool, never raised her voice to the driver. Even when the driver refused her instructions and argued to no end, Mandy remained collected and composed. “Turn around when possible,” she entreated the rebellious one. “Turn around when possible,” over and over, and in the calmest voice. 

Mandy's presence is now a fixture. Every road trip we make, she is right there with us. I guess you might say she is a security blanket, a guiding light, a safety net in the midst of orange cones and detour signs, a voice to call out, "You have reached your destination," when the way is unclear.

Like the roads we travel on earth, the road of life can get confusing, detours we never saw coming, roadblocks and dead-ends. Turn left? Turn right? Stop? Go? We need a Mandy to guide us through, to help us reach our destination.

It's natural to want to navigate the road conditions on our own, to ignore those roadblocks and warning signals, to barge full-spead ahead, leaning on our own understanding. I can't tell you how many times I've done just that and eventually ended up in the ditch, if you will. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:12: "There is a way that seems right to every person, but that road leads to death." 

How can we know the right way? The psalmist David said: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." We've been given a road-map, a spiritual GPS. Through the years, I've learned the value of referring to its pages often for instructions and help, for strength and guidance, and I have faith that if I continue to do so, one day, I will hear a voice call out, "You have reached your destination."

Until next time, dear ones, may the road be kind to you, and your weekend filled with smooth sailing.


Joining the good people at Spiritual Sundays.


  1. Amen! I love GPS and Jim hates it but does use it from time to time. He is a truck-driver with a map! GPS is another one of those inventions that utterly amazes me! Love the analogy too. Another great devotional!

  2. What a great post. Loved it Dayle. Loved the analogy. Have an amazing weekend guided by His love and grace.

  3. What a cute post! Yes we use our GPS all of the time. My husband is retired now but when he worked he would fly all over and get rent cars to get around in. He would always get a car with "Never Get Lost" that was what they were called. Isn't that funny and now they are now in almost every car? Thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  4. The Great Dane likes his GPS and I like my maps - I'm an old geographer, so maps make sense to me!

  5. Bravo! I appreciate this post.
    We call our GPS, Miss Johnson, our therapist, because she settles so many "quarrels".

  6. seems your "The Man" and "My Man" both don't like to be "directed" too. Thank you for the smiles and fits of giggles...also, thank you for your visit. Many Blessings to you...

  7. I'm the one who usually thinks I've got the right idea and find out I'm lost! Spiritually too! Ha. Husband has learned that the GPS is accurate! Love the Psalm; great advice and message. We chose an Englishman once for laughs in CAlifornia and it was a hoot to hear him pronounce those Mexican street names.

  8. I'm always thinking that one day, our GPS lady is going to yell at us - "I said, turn RIGHT! Aren't you listening?" We all need a little guidance now and then.

  9. Love the story about The Man and his initially reluctant, but now so sweet, relationship with Mandy! And yes, we all need GPS on the journey of faith, don't we?

    G od's
    P lans
    S urely

    I have sometimes found myself turned backwards, heading in the wrong direction, a bit lost. And I love how persistent He is in saying, "Turn around..." It would do me good not to doubt The Navigator!!

    "Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left." (Isaiah 30:21, NLT)

    OK, Lord, thanks for leading me - and re-calibrating me when I get off-course!!


  10. My sweetie refused to entertain the idea of using a gps until the time his 'impeccable sense of direction' got us hopelessly lost and the gps on my iPhone bailed us out! Haha that was a good day!! :)

  11. That was a good one, Dayle. Oh, I've been a passenger in a car where "Searee" ruled. I'd hate to describe the conversation between her and "my" rebellious driver. ha haha Cute column. Susan

  12. Such a true and good story! Thanks for the reminder on who we should follow.


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