When asked to fix any electronic device, I candidly confess: “Sorry! I’m ‘technologically challenged’!” Sadly, I simply can’t solve the simplest of technical snags. Nevertheless, I’m grateful to God for that incredible invention, GPS — Global Positioning System — which I’ve been using excessively on recent journeys.
I’m thrilled about GPS since, first, that musical, feminine voice unceasingly gives me directions when to turn right or left, when to head straight, and how much time’s left to destination. For me — also “directionally challenged” — this is priceless assistance. Second, due to my deficient sense of direction, when I chart my own course, “she” whispers: “Re-routing!” and spins around, once again setting me upon the right path. Finally, GPS provides me journey-long insurance till I hear: “You’ve reached your destination”!
Plusses notwithstanding, there’s a flip side to GPS. First, the US invented it for military use; so, I instinctively get edgy with anything designed for global militarisation. Second, GPS can deny access to some users during wartime, making heavily dependent users like me terrified that “she” might suddenly stay silent, leaving me directionless. Third, aware of threatening GPS conditions, many countries like ours have thankfully devised their own “Made in India” clones for desi and pardesi steering.
There’s another GPS I love — unconditional, absolutely free, universally accessible, invisibly omnipresent and eternally reliable — which I call “God’s Providential Signals”. God provides. God gives us everyday signals: “Go! Right! Caution! Stop! Danger! Great! Terrible!” While the American GPS was developed in wartime, the divine GPS was devised and implanted into human hearts when paradisiacal peace prevailed.
As all GPS devices require charging, the divine GPS gets charged with meditation, contemplation, prayer, scripture reading, silence and other spiritual sadhanas that keep life’s pilgrims connected to the “source” and progressing towards our final “destiny”. And, when sometimes I wander, directionless, I become aware of a “re-routing” reminder, which makes me weigh other roads less travelled.
The inner GPS, understandably, seems difficult to decipher since most of us are drowning in noise — from mobiles, vehicles, computers, machines and loud music — that deflect our attention outward without realising that God plants many signals for peace, happiness, love, sharing, caring and prosperity in the depths of our hearts. If we would but follow these signals — often wordless, yet charged with life-transforming energy — we would be so much happier, peaceful and purposeful.
Every day, ask: “Can I decipher where the inner GPS is leading me? Am I attuned to God’s spirit? Where am I heading? Should I change course?” Led by that GPS, when I’m finally carried to my earthly resting place — cemetery or crematorium — and I hear that voice: “You have reached your destination!” I shall know that life has been worth living.
Francis Gonsalves is a professor of theology. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org...