A car’s GPS is a wonderful thing. There is an incredible sense of security having a tool that tells you how to reach a destination and how long it will take to get there.
I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with GPS, however.
Arriving in Arizona to enjoy the winter could only be accomplished by driving almost 2000 miles. Although we attempted to break the driving time into manageable segments for each of the four days, the days were still long. An unexpected snowstorm in Iowa made for a terrifying white-knuckle experience. I very quickly found myself watching the navigation screen tick away the miles and minutes and wishing I could magically change that “arrival time” to something more palatable.
The hotel stay each night was an opportunity to rest and regroup so that I could get in the car the next morning with a renewed sense of energy and anticipation. It never lasted long, though, and shortly the mind-numbing road weariness would settle in.
Now that I’m in Arizona, again enjoying the warm sun and the spectacular mountain views, I am disappointed in myself. It is only now I realize I made it all about finishing the trip instead of enjoying the journey. I guess it’s especially disappointing because I am usually focused on savoring each moment, relishing each opportunity, and enjoying every sunrise and sunset. I’m not sure what went wrong with my internal wiring for those four days.
GPS is a wonderful thing–especially for those of us who are…well…a bit directionally challenged. I’d never advocate for abolishing its use. What I will do, however, is change my perspective. The navigation screen is a helpful tool. It doesn’t mean that by using it I have to forget what it is that keeps me centered, grateful, and tuned in to the glorious world around me. It’s perfectly normal to look forward to something, but if we forget to be in the moment, we are missing out on important moments in this wonderful thing called life.
The next time I get in the car and plug an address into my navigation system, I will remind myself… it’s all about the journey.