Bob Tamasy: 3 Days With Gladys Penelope Snodgrass

Monday, December 2, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Recently I spent three days driving around St. Louis, Mo., as well as towns nearby, with Gladys Penelope Snodgrass. Who? You probably know her by her nickname – GPS. I took her with me everywhere, and every time she told me where to go – in a very polite, considerate manner. It seems she has a keen understanding of directionally challenged individuals like me.

I decided to give her a name because when you spend that much time together, it seems unkind to remain so impersonal as to refer to the other “person” only as GPS. She actually sounded the way I’d imagine a Gladys Penelope Snodgrass should sound.

Several months ago I wrote about another GPS experience I had, pointing out how we follow instructions the navigational device gives with simple, trusting faith. If the voice says turn right, we turn right. If she says proceed 15 miles, we proceed as we’re told – she should know, right? (I say “she” because the voice sounds feminine. These days, who knows?)

But as “Gladys” and I traveled together, another principle came to mind. She was a constant companion, always available when needed. There wasn’t any need for unnecessary chit-chat. Gladys was direct and to the point. “In three-tenths of a mile, turn left onto Willow Street.” “In 1.1 miles take exit 26 on the right, then bear right.” “You have reached your destination.”

If she said, “Proceed 28 miles,” she remained quiet until about 27 miles had passed, then announced what I should do next. Always there, but never making a nuisance of herself, or demanding my attention. Simply ready and available, whenever needed.

In a similar, yet far more profound way, that’s one way I see my relationship with God. He asks us to follow His direction with simple faith – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). At the same time, He’s with us continually, not imposing Himself on us, but ever-present.

Jesus promised His followers “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Earlier in the Bible the Lord also assured us, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

As I drove around St. Louis and the surrounding region, my good friend Gladys was there with me, ready to help when needed. Because I trusted the GPS – despite having no understanding of how it works – I rightly presumed it would guide me to my destination, and even if I missed a turn it would “recalculate” and get me back on course.

When Psalm 23 tells me “the Lord is my Shepherd,” I can have confidence that just as a flock of sheep maintain a simple, unwavering confidence in the constant presence and care of their shepherd, God promises to do the same for me. And for every member of His “flock.”

We don’t have to fully understand how He works, why sometimes answers our prayers in one way and sometimes in another, but He promises to get us to where we need to go. If we’re willing to let Him guide us.

So if you ever feel alone, even disconnected from God, just remember Gladys Penelope Snodgrass. She was always there when I needed her. To a far greater extent, God gives us the assurance that He will be, too.

---

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.




Tanner Tidwell Completes 2-Year Mission For LDS Church

Tanner Tidwell, of Ringgold, recently completed a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The LDS Church has 422 missions worldwide, more than 70,000 missionaries, and is represented in more than 189 countries.   Tanner is the son of Bruce and Dana Tidwell and he has three siblings – Lacey Jones, Lauren Pippin and Taylor Tidwell.  Tanner’s ... (click for more)

Terra Vista Baptist Church Hosts Annual Family Fall Festival On Saturday

Terra Vista Baptist Church will host its annual Family Fall Festival this Saturday, from 12-2 p.m. at the church.  Activities will include a variety of games for children of all ages, such as inflatables for older and younger children, corn hole, ring toss, mini golf, fishing, cake walk, face painting, music and more.  Free food will also be served including nachos, ... (click for more)

City Council Rejects Share Of Big City Contract Recommended By Berke Administration For Start-Up Staffing Firm

The City Council on Tuesday night rejected awarding a share of a big contract for a start-up staffing firm that had been pushed by the Berke administration. Councilman Chip Henderson made a motion to approve "for the purpose of discussion" on the plan to give Msi Workforce Solutions part of the work along with a North Chattanooga firm that has had the contract for temporary staffing ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Airport To Go "Off The Grid" After Final Phase Of Solar Panel Installations

The Chattanooga Airport is embarking on the third and final phase of its solar farm, which when completed will allow the Airport to "go off the grid." John Naylor, Airport vice president, said, "This will give us all the power we need to run the Airport." He said EPB will assist with installation of a power storage unit and a micro-grid controller to make the change-over possible. ... (click for more)

Vote No On The Rezoning For A New Landfill In Harrison - And Response (3)

County Commissioners, please consider the following facts when voting on the rezoning request for a new privately-owned C&D landfill in Harrison.  Use of this property for a landfill has been rejected by the county three times in the past (1971, 1984 and 2007).  In 1971 and 2007 the County Commissioners unanimously rejected the proposal.  In 1984 the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Mom Don’t Have…I Do’

It’s hard to know what goes through the mind of a five-year-old, particularly one who watches her mom go in and out of jail due to drug addiction. But little Sunshine Oelfke is obviously being raised right by her grandmother because the other morning, the five-year-old came into the kitchen before leaving for kindergarten with a baggie full of coins from her piggy bank. “I asked ... (click for more)