September 2006 - Volume 11, Issue 2

Cruising through Life with a GPS

By Janice Alonso

Photo of a compassGod has given me a treasure cove of gifts. As a part of my daily morning devotional, I thank Him for three blessings in particular over which I've had no "control." First, I was blessed at birth by being born into a Christian family. From the outset I was introduced to Jesus and learned what it meant for Him to be in my life. Just as important, I was born in a country where I am allowed to worship freely, not fearing persecution or retribution. I am able to speak out or write about my faith and not worry that I or my family will suffer for my words. Second, I am blessed physically. I enjoy the health to appreciate and experience God's creation. At home and when I travel, I walk the country sides and city streets, taking in their sights, sounds, and smells. I can feel the warmth of the sun's rays across my shoulders and shiver with goose bumps when a chilly wind brushes my neck and cheeks. Third, I am blessed intellectually. I praise God that I have the skills needed to read His word and to remember passages which provide comfort, strength and joy for whatever life may have in store for me. Because I am enveloped by these gracious gifts, I have always felt I am the most blessed person in the world. However, my list of weaknesses could fill a jumbo-sized spiral notebook and spill into a second one as well.

God allows these weaknesses, I think, to round us out so we don't become puffed with pride and forget we are mere mortals and He is really in charge. I also feel these shortcomings make us appreciate the effort others have to exert to do the things we find easy. Perhaps my biggest challenge in day-to-day life is my lack of a sense of direction. I promise you, I could get lost going from my front porch to the mail box if I didn't have familiar landmarks to guide me to the end of the driveway and back. When I'm in my car, the degree to which I can get lost and then become disoriented blossoms until I just want to throw up my hands, rest my head on the steering wheel, and burst into tears.

Photo of a roadsign illustrating curves aheadA few years ago, when we traded in my car, my husband installed a mechanism that has helped me more than anything I've ever owned. In fact, a whole new world has been opened for me, granting me the safety and confidence I need when I'm in the mood to explore. On my instrument panel, I have a Global Positioning System, commonly known as a GPS. I now arrive to appointments with time to spare, and the only frustration I carry is born of traffic snarls and road constructions. On those occasions when I do get "off route" a cheery voice from the navigation system recalculates my position and guides me back to the right road.

Unfortunately, my GPS only works when I am in the car. Even more unfortunate, way too often I get off on the wrong road in life, and I'm not talking about earthly streets when I venture out on foot. I'm talking about spiritual highways. Too often I find myself traveling down a path so unfamiliar, I wonder how I came to be there in the first place. My being lost isn't usually the result of having made a single, terrible choice. Most frequently it is the result of a plethora of small, unwise decisions, most of which seemed right at the time. This string of poor selections banded together lands me in situations where I think I'll never be on the right track again. And I would remain lost if it weren't for my other GPS.

My other navigation system is equipped with a heavenly compass. Just like my car's devise, this GPS provides me with a divine intervention of direction on how to get back on the correct route. The system works flawlessly, never needs repair or a change of parts. Like On Star, it is available twenty-four/seven, but its service is free and has no one-time start up fee. I can call on it anytime and get on course. Thank goodness for my heavenly GPS, God Positioning System!