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Navigating Home

Navigating Home

I purchased a GPS after getting lost on a business trip in Texas (I live in Illinois) during which I spent three hours getting from the airport to my hotel, a distance of 1.2 miles. My adult children in Illinois helped me by using their GPS systems on their phones and patiently walking me back from my panic.


A couple of the highlights of the experience were seeing a highway sign with the symbol that the green toucan uses on Angry Birds to go forward and then circle back. I had never seen a sign like this outside the game and described it to my daughter, who laughed as she tried to help me.


Another doozy was when I stopped at a gas station to ask for directions and–I’m not making this up or exaggerating–the brick-enclosed building had no door! No door at all. As I gesticulated desperately outside the window, the clerk felt sorry for me and after unlocking what appeared to be several padlocks, stepped outside her fortress and pointed me in the direction she thought I was going. This was fairly early on, after only an hour or so of being lost.

So I came home and invested in a GPS and it was worth every penny.


But here’s my favorite thing about the GPS. When the computer voice, that of a woman, tells me what to do, for which I thank her often, she uses no inflection or emotion at all when she says, “In 1.2 miles, turn left on Route 20.” Flat, emotionless voice. Even if I make a wrong turn and she has to recalculate to figure out where I am now, her voice shows no judgment or anger or even impatience. She just calmly says, “Go 4.6 miles and turn right on Anderson Boulevard.” Some of her pronunciations are kind of funny, but after all, she’s a computer, so I give her quite a bit of slack.


But when I have finished my business or dropped someone off at the airport and am ready to turn around and go home, all I have to say to her is “Go home.” And her response is absolutely heartwarming.


“Navigating home,” she says. But it’s not the personality-less tone she uses for every other instruction. “Navigating home” is delivered in a way that makes me feel like saying, “Ahhhhh, I’m going home now.” Her voice drops down when she says “home” so that it really sounds like she knows I’m glad to be going there.


Today when I dropped two people off at the airport and told my GPS girl, “Go home,” and she gave her usual comforting response, it suddenly dawned on me that that’s what I, along with every other Christian, am doing here on earth–we’re navigating home. We’re traveling this world on our way to our real home–heaven.


And that thought–from my wonderful and beloved God, I believe–was even more comforting and exciting than the prospect of returning to my snug and cozy little house that God gave me fourteen years ago.


I’m on my way Home–to be with our Savior and our loved ones who have gone ahead of us, and they include my dear mother, my sister and my brother, whom I miss. I’m not in any hurry to get there, though, and I have, as Robert Frost said, “Miles to go before I sleep.” Miles and more fun times with my three darling children and maybe even grandchildren one day. And work that God still has for me to do.


God, help me to honor you with the rest of my journey here, however long or short. And thank you that I know where I’m going as I’m “Navigating home.”

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