Monday, May 10, 2010


Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. – Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

Last Christmas, my husband received an extraordinary gift from our eldest son—a hunting trip to Colorado. My gift to Dean was a handheld GPS unit to take along with him.

We ordered the GPS in March and received it a couple of weeks later. We should have ordered it right after Christmas. Talk about teaching an old dog new tricks!

Now, Dean is a fantastic fix-it man—mechanically minded and skilled in figuring out how things work—things like motors and engines and toasters and hair dryers—you get the idea. He’s even learned to browse the Internet (mostly looking for car or tractor parts) and even took an online course to prepare for his hunter’s safety test, which he needed to pass in order to get a Colorado hunting license. (He missed the birthdate cutoff by four months. But that’s neither here nor there.)

Since he does so well on the computer, we figured learning to use the GPS wouldn’t be too complicated. Not! The learning curve is as big as St. Louis’s Gateway Arch, a.k.a. “The Gateway to the West.”

“What’s the matter?” I asked him one Sunday as he fiddled with the GPS, manual spread open on the table in front of him. I could tell he was upset.

“I can’t find the arrow,” he said, clearly disgusted. “I had it. Now it’s gone.”

I looked at the screen, where what appeared to be a compass without a needle was displayed.

“Did you do anything?” I asked.

“Yeah—I hit the wrong button!”

I spent the next half hour pushing buttons, trying to get the arrow back. I learned new meanings for familiar terms, like “rocker” and “proximity” and “waypoint.” I figured out how to change the time setting back to Eastern Time from Central Time and showed Dean how to do it should he push the wrong button at the wrong time again. I hit every button and visited every page on the thing I could find, but no arrow.

Finally I handed the unit back to Dean. “Go ask Todd. He’ll know what to do.”

About an hour later Dean came into my writing room, where I was answering emails.

“Look!” he said, shoving the GPS in front of my face. “I got the arrow back!”

“What did you do?” I asked.

He shrugged. “I have no idea.”

I’m sure glad the way to our eternal destination is clearly marked. In God’s Word we’ll find how to recognize our waypoints, where the proximity boundaries are, and what buttons not to push. The Bible is not at all that complicated. All you have to do is read it.

I sure hope my husband learns how to use his GPS before he goes to Colorado in October. But just in case, I think I’ll get him a topo map and a good compass for Father’s Day.

Thank you, Lord, that the way Home is clearly marked in Your Word. Amen.

Special-Tea: Psalm 119

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