Bob Tamasy: In GPS We Trust?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Being among the legion of people fitting the description of “directionally challenged” – we pretty much couldn’t find our way out of a large paper bag – I regard the Global Positioning System (GPS) as one of mankind’s greatest inventions.

How it works, I don’t know. When I’m using my GPS, does President Obama get regular updates on where I am? Is the NSA diligently monitoring my progress? Can the satellite tracking my vehicle tell if I’m eating French fries, or if I’m trying to find the local ESPN affiliate on the radio?

But who cares? It’s just a marvel to me that whether it’s the GPS built into your vehicle, a portable device, or even the navigation app on your smart phone, you tell it where you want to go and it provides a map (plus voice – I think her name is “Gertrude”) to guide you along your way.

Never fails. Right?

On a recent business trip I used the Google Maps app on my phone rather than reacquainting myself with our Garmin, and for the most part it worked great. Except for once. I was driving along the route “Gertie” had instructed when suddenly she announced, “Make a U-turn in 1,000 feet.” No warning. She hadn’t indicated a turn earlier that I had missed. She just wanted me to make a U-turn – and right now. Impulsive, if you ask me.

I thought, “This doesn’t make sense. I’m on the state highway I’m supposed to be on.” I knew because of MapQuest, printed directions I always bring as a stop-gap, in case the GPS gets confused. As had just happened, apparently.

But to be sure – I hate driving miles and miles out of my way, only to waste time backtracking – I did turn at the next light, swung around and headed back toward the intersection. Then Gertie advised me to turn left – back onto the highway, in the same direction I’d been traveling.

Good ole “Trust Me I Never Make a Mistake Gertie” had…made a mistake! Who knew? The next day I drove the same route, and Gertie made the same mistake. She’s sometimes wrong, it seems, but never in doubt.

This got me thinking about the other GPS I’ve used countless times, the one that truly never fails – God’s Positioning System. (I’ve written about this before, but it’s worth mentioning again.) Early in my journey as a follower of Jesus, I learned this passage: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

My personal life – and often my professional life – have confirmed the truth of these verses. Reviewing the course of my journalistic career is one example. At the outset of my career, as a wet-behind-the-ears editor of a community newspaper in suburban Columbus, Ohio, if someone had explained where my vocational path would lead, I’d have responded emphatically, “I can’t get there from here!” And I would have been right. Because to get to where I am now, I’ve had to go to many other places first.

From New Jersey (where I grew up) to Houston, Texas (where I began college) to Ohio (where I finished college and started my first newspaper job) to suburban Philadelphia, back to Ohio, then to suburban Houston, and finally here to Chattanooga, Tenn. Even after arriving in Chattanooga, God has taken my family and me in directions we couldn’t have anticipated.

But unlike with Gertie and my Google Maps app, God’s directions have never failed. That’s not to say there haven’t been times – many times – when I wondered, “Lord, do You know what You’re doing?” In retrospect I’ve learned His answer has always been, “Yes, I do. Why do you ask?”

Proverbs 3:5-6 has a few caveats, however. We have to trust in the Lord – and not in ourselves. If we try to lean on our own understanding instead, we’ll find ourselves more confused than Gertie the Google Maps lady.

And hardest of all is acknowledging God in all our ways. We like to hold the Lord in reserve, kind of like a spare tire. “If I need you, I’ll let You know.” Many times we’re willing to acknowledge anything but God. But if – and when – we do submit to Him, recognizing He’s got a much better idea of what we need and where we need to go, He will indeed make our paths straight.

Even if those “straight paths” result in crisscrossing the map.

Global Positioning System? Accurate much of the time. God’s Positioning System? Accurate all of the time. I highly recommend it!

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


May 31 Designated Family Emphasis Day At Middle Valley Church Of God

Sunday, the entire day will focus on the need to strengthen and encourage families at Middle Valley Church of God, 1703 Thrasher Pk. in Hixson.  Pastor Mitch McClure said, 'Our families must know that God loves them and is there for them always.  They must know that the church is a place that desires to make the family system stronger.  On Sunday we will lift up the ... (click for more)

Bob Tamasy: Deserving Of Remembrance

Again on this Memorial Day, thoughts turn to the countless thousands of Americans through the years who have lost their lives defending our nation and paying the highest possible price for the freedom we enjoy – even with its flaws. We also think of the flag that represents our country, the banner that has flown over many of those who suffered death or grave injury to protect many ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Loses Bicycle National Championships To Winston-Salem

After a three-year run, Chattanooga is losing the national championship bicycle races. Winston-Salem, N.C., has been selected to serve as the host city for the 2016 and 2017 Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road & TT National Championships. The 2016 Volkswagen USA Cycling Pro Road & TT National Championships will be held May 22-30. The nine-day event will combine the ... (click for more)

County Jail Employee Charged With Posing As Doctor To Steal Drugs From Local Hospitals; Epperson Is Suspended; Erlanger Says Safeguards Worked

An employee of the Hamilton County Jail has been charged with posing as a doctor so he could steal medicine from local hospitals. Police said Ryan Epperson was wearing hospital scrubs when he was caught in a secure area of Erlanger Hospital on Wednesday by a Walden Security guard. In his pockets were found a crushed bottle of Demerol and a syringe filled with fentanyl. A search ... (click for more)

The Truth About The Rising Costs To East Ridge On The Fire Hall Property - And Response

Re:East Ridge Has To Pay Unexpected $428,000 On Bass Pro Shop Deal   H ere is the truth about this article.    One section of the article says: " Unknown to anybody on the council today, the agreement limited use of the land to a fire hall."     In a letter dated Dec. 15, 2010, Mayor Lambert asked TDOT officials to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I Know About Dowries

There is a lawyer in Kenya who wants to meet President Barack Obama very badly. He knows the President will visit Kenya in July and the noble, young lawyer, Felix Kiprono, is very sincere when he says he wants to marry the oldest of the Obama daughters, 16-year-old Malia. He became interested in Malia in 2008 and can proudly say he has dated no other women since then, it has just ... (click for more)