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God allows wandering, but gets us back home

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By Nancy Kennedy

For Christmas, my husband bought me a GPS device for my car.
Most of the time I can get someplace with written detailed directions However, I can’t reverse it without intense, step-by-step thought. Even then I almost always make at least one wrong turn.
So, when my husband asked what I wanted for Christmas, I told him to “geta geta geta Garmin”
On Sunday, we took it for a test drive to see how it works.
First, you program the type of voice you want giving you verbal directions, either female (“Samantha”) or male (“Tom”). Since women’s voices get awfully naggy, we chose Tom although, I’d much prefer Sean Connery’s voice giving me directions.
Next, you can program into the gadget the address where you want to go and  it’ll calculate the route. We told Tom we wanted to go to Brooksville from our house in Inverness.
We’ve been to Brooksville hundreds of times and know the way, but wanted to see what Tom would do. Tom bypassed our usual route.
Not a problem—we just went our usual way. However, Tom didn’t like that and told us to make a U-turn.
However, we didn’t want to make a U-turn. We wanted to go down Howell Street, past the old houses and the high school. That’s when Tom realized we were bent on going our own way and recalculated the route to include our detour down Howell.
In a way it defeats the purpose of the GPS device, at least for me. I don’t need something that enables my propensity for straying. However, Tom makes sure I eventually arrive at my destination. It’s a lot like the grace of God that allows wandering but never lets us go too far—and always brings us home safely.
You can just plug him in and he’ll show you a map of the street you’re on, complete with nearby restaurants, banks, stores, etc. Tom will also show upcoming streets, show you your speed and what direction you’re heading.
The truth is, when I don’t know where I’m going, or how to get there I’m apt to panic and drive anywhere, around in circles or down a dead-end road or run out of gas.
That’s why I need a guide, a voice, a Spirit, pointing me in the right direction.
That’s why I rely on the scripture that promises, “Whether you turn to the right or the left ... your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21).
Hooray! I’ll never be lost again.
Nancy Kennedy is the author of “Lipstick Grace.” She can be reached at 352-564-2927, Monday through Thursday, or via e-mail at nkennedy@chronicleonline.com.