The GPS of Life

November 21, 2014

 by Walker Moore

A number of years ago, I got one of the first GPS (Global Positioning System) units that came out. It was amazing. I would fly into a strange town, rent a car, type in the address I needed, and up would pop a little map with a line showing the best way to reach my destination. My first GPS took a long time to find the satellites, and it would get me to the right county but not always the right street. I read a newspaper article about a woman in Europe who was driving 90 miles to pick up a friend. Her GPS took her 900 miles out of the way and she ended up in another country. Yes, there is a Paris, France and a Paris, Texas. The only thing that keeps a GPS from getting mixed up is the ocean between them.

As these products have improved, I have upgraded mine. I have complete trust that the one I now have will get me within ten feet of my destination. My current GPS speaks about 30 different languages. Just for the fun of it, if I know where I’m going and I have a friend riding with me, I will switch it to some outrageous language and act like I know what it’s saying. We’ll be driving along when a lady’s voice says, “Vegyünk egy jobbra a sarokban barátom.” I will look over at my friend and say with confidence, “She wants us to take a right at the next corner.” And my friend sits there with his mouth hanging open. As we get close to our destination, the lady will speak again, “Az úti cél a bal oldalon.” I translate again: “She says the building we are looking for is on the left.” And when my friend sees our destination on the left, he’s convinced that I am 100 percent fluent in this language. So the GPS has given this missionary something fun to do to play a joke on my friends.

But the GPS has also made me a competitor. It will say, “You will arrive at your destination in one hour and 48 minutes.” For some reason, I will think, “I can do better than that.” So now, it becomes a race between the GPS and me. Stopping to go the bathroom can add anywhere between 10 and 18 minutes to our travel, so no time for that. It’s a good thing my sons are all grown up. Otherwise, on every trip, I’d hear whining from the back seat, “Daddy, Daddy, I really, really need to go to the bathroom!” “You can hold it. We only have 37 minutes to beat the GPS to Grandma’s house.” I can see myself, keeping my eyes on the prize while the boys roll around in the back seat, moaning. They need to go, but I need to beat the GPS. I pull into our destination, beating the GPS by a minute. I jump out of the car and run up the stairs like Rocky Balboa, the movie theme pumping through my mind. I jump up and down, thrusting my fist in the air. Once more, I stand on the victor’s podium, for I have defeated the powerful GPS.

A while back, I was in a secular business meeting. One of the attendees had just been released from prison, where he served time for embezzling four million dollars. The men there weren’t students of the Scriptures, so they asked him, “What could you have done to avoid getting caught?” I interrupted and said, “I think there’s a more important question. Where was your moral compass when the temptation came to embezzle the money?” “I didn’t have one,” he replied. I asked another question: “Do you have one today?” “It’s a little bit better,” he told me. How sad.

God has given us the Bible as a moral compass or GPS for our lives. Without it, we’re like a ship without a rudder. Life takes us wherever it wants, and we have no control. When Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6), He was talking about providing us with a moral compass. Like a GPS, a compass always points the way. Jesus is invading your life with a life that is superior because He enables you to walk in truth. He is invading your life with true life. And it is never too early to surround your children with these things. As the Person of truth and the Word of truth deepen in their lives, their moral compass will become stronger. That, my friend, will take them to the right place. And they won’t want to miss the victory dance at journey’s end.