Of global positioning and exasperated donkeys

May 24, 2013 chris
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A friend asked me to accompany him on a trip to Atlanta. He had to take someone to the airport and didn’t feel confident enough to go it alone.

I am no world traveler, but armed with a GPS, I usually get by. I felt certain that it was going to be a case of the blind leading the blind, at best.

To sweeten the deal, my friend suggested we play a round of golf. My courage instantly increased and my limited directional skills became an afterthought. He had me at, “A round.”

On the agreed upon date, they arrived at my house ready for the long drive. I sat in the back seat and read the works of Longfellow. I would look up on occasions to hear them say, “He isn’t listening, he is reading that book.” Such is the life of a self-proclaimed nerd. I escape that way. Although we were in a car, my mind was centuries away in a small village awaiting unwanted visitors.

Our trip to the airport went smoothly and my friend was able to catch her plane to Chicago. I climbed into the front seat and started helping out with the directions. I typed in the address to the golf course and aided my friend until we arrived. A book certainly is good way to escape, but golf is even better. We made it to the Country Club Gwinnett just in time to play our round, and a great time was had by all. Afterward, we ate some lunch and started our return trip home.

We typed in “home” as our desired destination and waited for the magic to happen. Once all the signals from outer space were concluded, the GPS started giving us directions. I prefer my GPS to talk to me, but someone had turned down the volume on his GPS and neither one of us knew how to turn it up, so we had to pay closer attention to the screen. We took more than a few premature turns, and at one point found ourselves in a logjam of traffic in a far right lane. We were practically at a standstill.

The situation reminded me of being in the lane going to Trussville during evening rush hour, when in fact you’re really headed to Gadsden.

We double check our silent guide and realized that we were in the wrong lane. A few left-handed turn signals later, we found ourselves going from zero to sixty. It was at that point that this article hit me. I shared the idea with my friend.

“You know, life is like that sometimes.”


I clarified my comment.

“Like that, what we just experienced. No one told us to get in that lane. We were just there sitting, stuck and at a standstill. Once we took a look at things and made a few corrections, it was smooth sailing.”

Often in my life, I will find myself at a standstill and trying to make something work that doesn’t. During the entire time, I am wondering what is wrong and why something isn’t working out, whether it is a relationship, job or just one of many of life’s problems.

It is only after I check myself and make some needed  (and often reluctant) adjustments that suddenly things go smoother. We often want to blame God or the devil, but in some cases, I’m the one responsible for me being in the wrong lane. No one told me to get into the Trussville exit lane. I just did. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I experienced what others in that lane endure.

I am reminded of a story in the Bible when a man riding a donkey was traveling in the opposite direction that God wanted him to go. The man was mad at the donkey because to him, the donkey was moving too slowly. So he started beating the donkey.

While he was lashing blows on the donkey, God gave the donkey the ability to speak and this is what the donkey said, “Why are you beating me? You are the one going in the wrong direction.” 

I am convinced that the flow of my life would be better if I took to heart the scripture that states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not unto your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”

As for the blind leading the blind, my friend and I arrived home, although we made it via Rockmart, Pell City and Hokes Bluff. To this day, we aren’t sure how we missed Anniston and Hwy. 20. Call us for golf but not for directions.