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.




"They Won't Get Away With It" Is Sermon Topic At Middle Valley Church Of God On Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God announced that Pastor Mitch McClure will speak on the topic, "They Won't Get Away With It"  in the  10:30 a.m.  service on  Sunday .  This sermon is part of a sermon series designed to demonstrate the hope found in the person of Jesus Christ.   Pastor Mitch McClure will lead the congregation ... (click for more)

St. Elmo Missionary Baptist To Present "My Worship Is For Real"

The St. Elmo Missionary Baptist Church will present "My Worship is Real", an evening of worship and praise, on Saturday at 6 p.m.   Appreciation will be given for the 26 years of ministry by minister Ron Calloway.   The special guest will be Veroica "Pooh" Nash Poleate, and music by Corey Prather and Hi Praize, ICCM Praise Team and The Voices of St. Elmo MS ... (click for more)

State Plays Tape Of Prior Testimony Of Shooting Victim After He Refuses To Come To Court

The state on Thursday played a preliminary hearing tape of shooting victim Kadarius Johnson after he refused to come to the Criminal Court trial of the man accused of shooting him in the back of the head. Prosecutor Andrew Coyle said every effort had been made to contact Johnson, who he said told investigators that if he testified he would be labeled as a snitch and killed by ... (click for more)

Langdon Strickland, 33, Dies From Monday Afternoon Shooting

Langdon Strickland, 33, who suffered life-threatening injuries in a shooting on S. Kelly Street early Monday afternoon, has died.   Chattanooga Police responded to a person shot at the 500 block of S. Kelly.  Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police officers located the victim, who was suffering from a gunshot wound. Hamilton County EMS transported the victim to a ... (click for more)

Shame On Anyone Planning A Protest At Coolidge Park Thursday Evening - And Response (4)

Whether you're Alt-Left or Alt-Right, Coolidge Park isn't the place to showcase your hate and indifference with one another. Just because it's your right, that doesn't necessarily mean that you should do it. Many have this misconception that this park is named after a President, Nope. It's named after a great man, a true patriot, and Medal of Honor recipient from right ... (click for more)

A Tale Of 3 Properties

Here in Lookout Valley on the far southwest edge of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, trees and rocks are plentiful but sidewalks are as rare as unicorns. It’s a land the governments forget – until tax collection time.  The recent county reappraisal spoke about ‘comps,’ recent sale prices of comparable local properties. But the assessors defined ‘comparable’ to suit themselves, ... (click for more)