It’s almost October, the start of the last quarter of the year, and I’m getting antsy.
By this time in years past on the calendar, I would’ve taken some sort of out-of-state excursion, satiating my need to get out of the comfortable, and out onto unknown landscape. By plane, train, automobile or Timberlands, I’ve ventured out to the Eiffel Tower, the Seattle Needle, the Alamo, and even climbed atop the Pinnacle on the Appalachian Trail. Not to say anything of the annual June shore trip to Long Beach Island. As Saint Augustine wrote, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”
Luckily, I’ll soon be out on the highways and the skyways on two different adventures — first to the hills of Western Pennsylvania next month and, later, to the beautiful mountain air in the Pacific Northwest.
And of course, when it comes to driving to a destination, at least, like I am doing later this month, along with my toothbrush and multivitamin, I’m not forgetting my GPS.
Ah yes, that “Global Positioning System” that promises to navigate us where we want to go. It hasn’t steered me wrong so far — although I vividly remember “The Office” episode where Michael Scott’s directional system led him right through a fence and into the river.
Throughout my journalism career, I’ve spent many a good time with the old reliable GPS, making my way through the bucolic farmlands of Hammonton, the shores of Ocean City, or the streets of Swedesboro. My friend has been tried and true.
Sometimes, though, I do wonder if I’m putting more faith in the everlasting GPS than my almighty God.
As I believe the satellites will guide me through the winding woods, do I believe that God will guide me through that difficult relationship? As I believe Google Maps will lead me home through a country dirt road at 3 a.m., with nothing but the moon, grass and crickets around me, do I believe that my Savior will light the way through any dark passage? Can God clear these obscured eyes — muddled by regret, shame, past hurts, uncertainty, sin — better than the GPS could through the fog, and show me His true way?
Saints who have been around longer than the GPS tell of God’s reliability and fidelity.
“We shall steer safely though every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast and our trust fixed on God,” wrote Saint Francis de Sales.
Saint Therese of Lisieux died in great pain at the age of 24, but was so joyful and happy in her last days that some thought she was only pretending. She once said, “May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.”
And once again, I’ll return to my favorite saint, Augustine:
“Trust the past to the mercy of God, the present to His love, and the future to His providence.”
It doesn’t take a GPS, to know that where we are, is where He will find us.
Peter G. Sánchez is a staff writer and social media coordinator for the Catholic Star Herald.