GPS and the Push

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When it’s 2 in the morning already, and you’re laboring to make it to the destination that the new GPS unit you bought before the trip told you an hour ago is 30 miles of driving away, and all you want to do is close your eyes somewhere and just go to sleep on the edge of this terrifyingly dark Montana road, and then, finally, you reach your destination and the GPS lady calmly blurts (like she’s never been tired a day in her life), “63 miles to final destination….turn right at crossroads ahead…turn right in 100 yds.” ….well, that can be a demoralizing moment in your life.

You stop trusting the GPS.

“I KNOW WHAT IT SAID!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT EITHER!! WE’RE ALL SO TIRED!!!! I KNOW…..”

The GPS is just another machine. It’s a machine that I put my trust in.

It’s too dark to read a map. There’s no shoulder anywhere…just a bunch of deer running out from the inky blackness, and a steep graded drop-off on either side of this unfamiliar highway. My option is to trust that this machine will steer me in the right direction.

When you don’t know anything, anything that seems to know a little more than you seems to be the thing to trust.

The “leader” doesn’t have to be an expert, he or she just needs to make you think that they’ve got it under control.

What do I know, really?  I trust the GPS.

And when I woke up the next morning, after a strange nights sleep in a strange motel, I checked the map and realized that the GPS had taken me the only way I could have gone.

What seemed insane at the time, through all my anxious weariness, was dead on correct.

It was weird, but it was right.

I get so tired sometimes…frantically tired.

Like a cranky baby tired.

Jenny says, “Why don’t you just go to sleep if you’re so tired? You’re getting so cranky.”

I AM A MATURE MAN!!! I KNOW WHEN I’M TOO TIRED TO STAY UP!!! I’LL GO TO SLEEP WHEN I’M GOOD AND READY!!!…. I think to myself.

I get tired and I’m all over the road, veering gently from line to line, trying to maintain speed when no one is behind me to push….fighting with my eyelids, head shaking, window open…desperately treading water in a storm filled sea of weariness.

The only reason I stay on the road sometimes is that I’m terrified of the embankment. I’m afraid to slide down.  I don’t know what’s down there.

I don’t really know how a GPS works… completely.  The lady in the machine knows a lot about our country, I do know that. She can tell me to go down roads that I’ve never even heard of…roads that may not even be on the map….and I trust her.

I think the GPS works with co-ordinates.  It listens to the sky a lot to get its bearings. I don’t think that it has eyeballs, so the stars don’t come into play with helping me find my way. It can’t watch the stars for a location.

It’s a different kind of machine than a sextant.

It’s just really good at listening to the instructions that are silent to my ears.

I am steered by the sky sometimes.

Sometimes, when I’m really trying to pay attention, I get a kernel and think, “That is a crazy direction. THAT IS A CRAZY DIRECTION!! There is no way that I’m going to go in that direction…it doesn’t make a lick of sense…THAT IS NUTS!!!”

So I veer off on my own path…and later I check the map and realize that there was a good reason for the nudge.

Maybe it’s good that there seems to be a whole lot of “on ramps” to the “straight and narrow”.

When I’m really tired, though, sometimes it’s a painful thing to keep driving on the right road …when it doesn’t make sense to be there.

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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