Many of us these days have acquired a GPS to help us navigate the highways. GPS stands for "global positioning satellite," which is where this little gizmo's invisible beams probe to tell us where we are, and where we are going.
Recently, my wife and I were taking a homeless friend out to lunch -- something of a tradition every couple of months. My GPS on this occasion was dark and silent, although clearly visible, its suction cup clinging to my windshield. More than once I've thought it too tempting a target for would-be thieves. In fact, its presence is usually the only reason I lock my car.
This time, however, caught up in the moment, perhaps falsely secure, I left the car unlocked in the restaurant parking lot and went in.
After an hour or so, we split up and I approached my car to drive our friend back to her camp. And, lo and behold, my eyes fell to the now decapitated GPS recharger dangling from the empty windshield.
I admit I was taken aback. Not devastated by the loss, but feeling a bit victimized. My friend, however, was outraged.
"I can't believe it!" she raged. "This isn't fair! Why do bad things happen to good people? And you are definitely good people!"
I shrugged, got in the car, and drove her back.
She was still fuming and vowed to pray for my poor device's restoration, as well as a few choice punishments for the perpetrator that I won't go into.
I meandered back toward work, stopped for gas, drew into the parking lot and sat for a moment in the parking deck thinking, "Maybe God didn't want me to have that GPS. And you know, that's OK with me."
Little did I know, at the same time, my homeless friend was back at her camp, sitting down and praying, hard, that my GPS would turn up.
I got out of my car, twisting my feet to navigate the floor mat, and my foot touched something under the seat. I almost didn't bother to see what it was. An old empty water bottle. A child's toy.
But no, it was my GPS.
If you've ever pried a GPS suction cup from a car windshield, you know there must have been at least an attempt to steal it. I've never had it fall off or even knocked it off by accident. So, did this one miraculously fall under the seat, away from the anxious would-be thief, who decided it was too risky to pursue it?
Or was it actually stolen and squirreled away in his pants pocket and -- miraculously -- returned to its owner on a wing and a prayer?
And I found myself wondering, "Does it matter?
Because regardless of the details, God had sent me a very clear road map in the absence of my device.
"If you want directions to Me," it said, "you will need two things."
Prayer was the first, lovingly supplied by my friend from her camp in the woods.
The other was surrender. I ponied that up as I was about to leave the car.
On my! This is just totally awesome! I have tears in my eyes. What a beautiful message. I love how God sends these special "I love you" notes to us. They happen all the time, we just need to be willing to share them. You really made me stop and think and I've also discovered the power of prayer this past month in my life. The evidence is so overwhelming I don't understand how anyone can think it a coincidence. Thank you so much for sharing.
I really like this article and especially that you didn't just claim the miraculous return of the GPS. Yes, it may have been miraculous, but your approach seemed more honest; and leaves the miraculous very possible.
Good article with a good ending point.