Welcome to my digital writing journal, or mydigitalclutter. What started as a family blog almost two years ago has morphed into my writing therapy. This is where I do a lot of free writing, mostly about my life with my family and the things that catch my interest. While nowhere even close to perfect, in each post I like to see how my writing is changing with time and practice. Most posts are left unedited for this reason, so if you don't mind, take the journey with me.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Fixation with Digital and the GPS

A few weeks ago, while driving madly to get to Oklahoma, I had the opportunity to borrow a little digital device (yes, I know...I'm fascinated with all little digital gadgets) called a GPS. Because I was driving virtually by myself and four children and a co-pilot who wasn't familiar with the drive, I relied heavily on this small 3x4 inch device. A quiet, refined voice would call out the directions of roads to be taken and turns to make.

I started my journey with a few lines of destination, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. It magically created a route, through mountains, across plains, past towns and cities. I watched as the landscape flew by the driver's window and one unfamiliar sight melded into another. I never once grew nervous that I was being led astray by this voice. I continued on in utmost confidence until at last, I turned off the freeway and entered the military base. I had stayed strong and unemotional throughout the journey until that moment. Yes, I had a meltdown of gigantic proportions. I think it was the emotional release of making it over 18 hours in the car with 4 children, only stopping briefly for a bathroom break or two. Luckily I had found my safe harbor with Daniel and I felt secure.

A few days later I used the device as I navigated the unfamiliar streets of Wichita, Kansas trying to find a museum to visit while playing "tourist". Again, I hoped that the quite voice would guide me to my destination. I took the exit it prescribed and found myself in a detour of road construction. It told me to take a left where my GPS told me to take a right. I became flustered because the GPS kept telling me to make a U turn and go the other direction. Being in unfamiliar territory, in an unfamiliar rental car, I wasn't sure exactly how to make adjustments to my route. I finally found a parking area and entered detour information and found an alternate way to our destination. Again, I trusted it to tell me exactly where to go and how to get there, even though the local city information threw a wrench into it.

The next day, we decided to travel to Liberty, MO and visit Liberty Jail, one of the LDS Church Historical sites. I entered what I thought was the correct address, but we ended up driving through gullies and over hills, in some of the most gorgeous farming country I've ever seen. For almost an hour or more, we followed the directions to end up on a dead end road, far from where we really expected to go. After a lot of grumbling and re-evaluating, we arrived at our place of intention, and I, more the wiser about putting in the correct North/South coordinates when entering my desired destination.

Through this experience, I relied wholly on a digital device to guide me to places unknown. That is an immense amount trust to put on something other than my own power. I am not sure that is so wise...or is it? No matter your take on religion, or your belief system for that matter, most of us can believe that there is Someone or a Higher Power guiding us in this life. Be it Karma, or Kismet, or the Gift of the Holy Spirit, truth be told, we have something more powerful than my little borrowed GPS unit to guide us in this life. Are we as trusting to what we believe as we are to the directions coming from the digital box?

My experience with the little black device has whetted my appetite for activities such as geocaching or traveling without set plans. I yearn to walk in the city and find a restaurant, just a few feet away, where I can discover new cuisine. I also can't wait to travel to unknown places and experience the joy of arriving at my destination, just as I had planned. This experience has also caused me to ponder and think deeper about my relationship with Deity. Am I as trusting in that relationship as I was with my digital one?

What are some of the things you trust in?

*Image taken from Google*

4 Lovely Scribbles to Me:

Tonee + Brennan said...

Okay this is not a religious comment, but more just a funny story about our GPS. A few years ago we travelled to Escalante to hike. The GPS was telling us to take some weird back road! Well, we followed it only to end up on some high mountain, dirt road that was snow packed by the time we got to the top and my little corolla couldn't make it through. Anyway, your post made me remember this and laugh. We had to make our way all the way back down the road that we had been travelling on for over an hour and go the "long way" way to Escalante. It still boggles my mind it knew that back, dirt road. And I am sure it would have been a great route if we were in a truck! I guess this could be symbolic of something spiritual! It means that god knows the routes better than we do, but we have to be prepared "driving the right vehicle" to make it through...look at that!

wonder woman said...

I've never used a GPS, and honestly, I think I'd prefer not to! I've always loved geography. When we went on roadtrips as I child, I LOVED being in charge of the map. I'd look for the scenic byways, the rest stops, the mileage counters.....what a nerd! Truthfully, I'd be a little mistrusting of GPS. Probably just because I've heard more than one story like yours, and seen that episode of the Office that led them into a lake. Ü

But I appreciate your relating your experience to your relationship with God. Do we trust Him that much? It's easy to say yes, but in reality, I'm not sure that I do. Unfortunately, I think I rely on my own wisdom more than God's far too often. Not a good habit to have.

p.s. ♥ the new look!

Terresa said...

I like how you are often changing the look and feel of your blog. It reminds me of the fun of trying on a new outfit. Love it!!

PS: We've always wanted to get into Geocaching. There are some fun FHE ideas tied to that I read about once...got to find 'em.

thedailydelights said...

Hello beautiful, ww and terresa are right, the new look is darling! I've not used a gps yet either, though i remember laughing at my boss drive us through new areas in LV where even the gps was a bit confused: he would talk to that voice like they were the best of friends, giving eachother counsel.

I love the small whispering voice that prompts and guides. Its easier for me to listen when I record what I'm learning. I need to write more down! :)

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