Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Reliable GPS

Is there such a thing?  Almost anyone can tell stories of road trip disasters using GPS.  This happened to us not once but three times as we traveled from Washington, D.C. to Chicago to visit Tim’s sisters and, in Tim’s case, to attend a scheduled board meeting at Wheaton College.

Wheaton College''s iconic Blanchard Hall

Before we set out, Tim entered our destination in our new GPS, (global positioning system).  We trusted it to guide us to our destination.  Yet before we even left our neighborhood, it sent us on what might have been the most direct route but which ended up costing us more time as we waited in traffic. 

Wheaton College Church

Traveling onward through beautiful western Maryland, we began to realize that the GPS was directing us west to I-68 instead of north to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  We worried that we had missed the turnoff and since the GPS showed only our immediate location—not the big picture that a map gives—we believed we were going the wrong way.  Luckily, the cutoff was only a few miles ahead.  But the GPS kept re-calibrating, trying to send us back to I-68 to avoid the tolls of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  As we tried to figure out how to turn off its avoidance of toll roads feature, it was NOT helpful to hear its voice repeatedly telling us to turn back.

Edmond Memorial Chapel

The third strike against the GPS occurred as we reached the eastern edge of the greater metropolitan area of Chicago.  There the GPS directed us toward the western suburb of Wheaton using a zigzag path along interconnecting interstates.  Our route more resembled the letter M than a direct line along I-80 to I-355. If this is a portent of GPS’s wackiness, how will we ever manage to navigate a big-rig RV?

The rear of Blanchard Hall

But there is a GPS that is absolutely reliable.  That is the GPS my friend Mary Hoover dubbed God’s Positioning System.  Listening to His inner voice prompts me to go in a certain direction, even when I insist I know a better route.  With His Word, the Bible, He gives me commands and promises that will ease my way through life, if I’ll only listen.  In the bumpy and difficult seasons of life, He is there with me even though I can’t make sense of the why.  His character never changes and His steadfast love is always there.  He is utterly trustworthy and His kingdom will come.

Postscript:  Last night we cheered the Wheaton College Men’s Soccer Team to a 4-1 victory over Carthage College.  Wheaton’s team is routinely ranked in Division III’s Top 20 and has several missionary kids who grew up playing soccer overseas.  All that experience pays off!


  1. Blessings to you both and traveling mercies as God's positioning point directs you with Habitat for Humanity! Love, Yas and Ralph

  2. Thank you, Yas! I'm hoping I'll be a good navigator for Tim. I have nightmares about low clearance bridges! Getting the RV stuck could be a deal-breaker for our marriage. Love you, too!

  3. Good advice from Mary Hoover:)