Tuesday, May 20, 2008


BJ and Heather in Pacasmayo.


GPS systems are prevalent today. I know I even wrote about the use of one several months ago. I am in awe of their ability to store information and to seem to be this brain that can always tell you what you need to know. Something of a "magic 8 ball" of locations and directions.

Last Friday, I was picked up at the airport by two young men who were to take me to my hotel for the weekend. From the moment we met, we had a great time. Caleb was 21 and Judd was 14. I flew into Memphis, and then we needed to drive the hour trip to Jonesboro, Ark.

When we got into the car, Caleb asked where we would like to have dinner. Red Lobster was suggested somewhere in the course of the conversation. Judd who was handling the GPS was asked to program it for the Red Lobster on a certain street.

The GPS was new. It had only been purchased that day by one of their siblings. As Judd began to work with this minute piece of technology, he stated that the battery was getting low. I asked where the charging cord was.

"We didn't bring it, we didn't think we would need it," came the reply.

Once he had it programmed, and we got initial directions (we were already lost), I suggested he shut it down to conserve battery.

We laughed as we talked, at our predicament. We were in a city that none of us knew well, we were lost, and we were depending on a piece of equipment that was about to die. To further complicate matters...and we openly made fun of this as well...we were men, and everyone knows what that means. LOST MEN DON'T ASK FOR DIRECTIONS, THEY JUST KEEP DRIVING!

We neared the location, and in anticipation the GPS was turned back on. It proudly boasted, "You are here."

We looked around the "here" we had arrived at, and there was no restaurant...at least not a Red Lobster. We kept driving.

After another mile or two and the pleading of the GPS voice, dubbed Edna, to turn around, we did.

Once again came the anticipated announcement, "You are here."

Once again, we were not.

We pulled into a nearby mall parking lot and postulated about the likelihood that a Red Lobster would be inside a mall instead of free standing. Not likely we concluded.

We pulled up to Chinese Buffet parking lot, and I pointed out a man and said, "I'll ask him if he knows where it is, if you'll pull over."

He responded, "There isn't a Red Lobster here anymore. When the hurricane came through it damaged it and they never rebuilt it."

That hurricane came two and half years ago. I remember, because BJ was in the hospital at the time.

First, we were no where near a coast. Second, why didn't they rebuild, and third, this piece of technology was newer than two and a half years old, so why didn't it know that the Red Lobster wasn't there anymmore?

Apparently, it was about as reliable as a 'magic 8 ball."

We had wasted the better part of a half hour trying to find something that did not exist.

We decided to eat at the Chinese Buffet.

We live in a day where we are willing to submit our complete trust to technology that apparently isn't updated as often as it should be. This technology is man made. It is flawed. We accept these flaws and move on.

Simultaneously, we have access to a God that wants our complete trust, is flawless and perfect, always knows the right answers, and we are unwilling to place the same blind faith in Him that we did in something we paid two or three hundred dollars for.

We wouldn't consider taking the flawed technology back, we accept it with its' flaws. We believe we need it to survive.

When we learn to trust in Jesus the way we do our laptops or gps devices, we will begin to make a difference in our world. We wouldn't consider traveling without our technology, but we don't a give second thought to whether or not our Bible is packed.

We need to abide in Christ and trust in Him in a similar fashion. He provides direction and protection and he never leads us to places that don't exist.

After dinner, we got lost on the way to Jonesboro. We had a great time together! We even asked for directions twice in one evening!

dad

6 Comments:

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless,
Greenfield, Indiana

 
At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great story. God Bless!

 
At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful analogy. asking directions? I say!?!! lol

 
At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome story, I have a GPS and it never takes me where I need to go. The other day it made me go into a complete circle to lead me to the street where I already way. So, I learn to not trust it as much, but at least I can use the map instead of trying to fold out out tons of sheets of paper. =) Thanks for sharing.

 
At 6:55 PM, Blogger BJ Will Always Be Remembered said...

Not much of a comment from me... always in my thoughts. May God bless you and your household (and your family). Love, Leslie (Portland, Oregon)

 
At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you brought that out. It's so hard to get a guy to ask for directions. If my dad lost his GPS, I don't think he'd be able to function.

I'm really glad you had fun in Jonesboro. Kaleb and Judd (Aka Judd-bucket in our youth group) are really fun.

It was really a blessing to meet you, even if it took me a while to recognize you! Reading a story and then hearing it again from a parent's perspective really made it so much more meaningful.

I am so glad that you shared BJ's story with all of us. His story has helped me to get a lot more serious with my relationship with God in the past few months.

Thank you for your son. May God bless you and your family. :)

"Me Katie"

 

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