Written by Erin Pearson.
I was given the unwelcome mantle of navigator on our vacation this last week. I am a person of words, not of numbers. The exits and on ramps and interstate numbers might as well have been Greek on the signs, and I did what I always do when handed a GPS device; I panicked. 🙁
While my job was sufficient, well maybe adequate is a better term, I did learn something from my stint as designated planner/organizer/responsible adult. Road signs are entirely necessary if we are going to have a successful journey.
For instance, to navigate our first stop I felt that something as “touristy” as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis would have millions of signs around for the exit and designated areas to park etc. There are not; and consequently, we had taken a bridge, turned around, confronted road work and detours, and stressed my brain to blow out levels. We made it to the arch, just missing the last tour to the top, with the next to follow an hour and a half later. We looked around the underground museum to stretch our legs, then walked back to the parking garage, all of this while the baseball stadium was filling with fans for the soon to start game. We ate lunch on my birthday in the 3rd floor of the parking garage, and I muttered to myself “Best birthday ever”.
Where were the signs? As an American was I just supposed to know where the Arch was?
Frustrated, but without available respite from the GPS, we continued our journey. The further east we got, the more the land filled with trees. It was beautiful and green, lush in comparison to the drought ridden fields and pastures of home. With this lushness also came new challenges, as vines and branches often covered the signs; vital signs in all actuality, and again we were faced with turning around and identifying a new route to get to where we needed to be. I seriously considered writing a letter to the Department of Roads in West Virginia. Still might.
There we found ourselves curving and swerving through the Appalachian mountains, or for those of us used to the Rockies, more like Appalachian foothills. But it was here that I saw a road sign that got me thinking.
Fallen Rock Zone
Initially it was kind of scary to think about a giant boulder having the capacity to be unleashed from the top of a sheer rock face and plummet to the road below. But it also reminded me of life as a journey.
Where are our road signs?
How awesome would it be to know “Rough Road Ahead”, or “Bump – 50 ft” or “Toll Road 1/2 mile”. If every hiccup on my journey through life were easily identified, how much better would life be?
God is like our navigator, he is the GPS blue blinking dot what says “You are here” and “This is where you’re going”. He’s planned it all out, and he knows the way and while we may not get to see the map, we still know our final destination. Sometimes, to me, it feels like the way is dark, that I’m in a tunnel under the ocean panicking for a way out, but I’m not the one with the map. I have to listen to my navigator.
It ‘s a hard lesson learned, one that I continue to learn and struggle with sometimes daily. I am not in control of the exits and hazards that I encounter on my road, but I am responsible for putting the ultimate GPS in control. I have a homing beacon, and you guessed it.