Dedicated Devices, and Why I Still Love My Garmin GPS

If I’m the passenger in a car, don’t expect me to know the directions next time.

If I’m not driving, I’m paying no attention to individuals turns. I’m either reading or listening or talking or closing my eyes.

Staying focused doesn’t come naturally. My mind flits from this to that. I’m thinking of so many things that I want to do or want to remember to do later.

But sometimes my mind just needs to rest. To zone in on only one thing at a time.

Maybe that’s why I still like my old Garmin GPS. It’s a dedicated device for just one thing.

I know it’s outdated. It’s not current like my Maps app or Waze. It’s not interactive. It doesn’t show me there’s a wreck up ahead or road construction stalling traffic.

But it does one thing well: it focuses on this specific journey.

Once I set my destination, it zeroes in on that intention alone. Miles remaining. Next turn ahead. Estimated time of arrival.

It doesn’t tempt me to check my email or update Instagram or play a podcast.

God is like my Garmin. He zeroes in on his intention. And today, he is focusing on me. On my specific journey. On each step I’m taking. (And okay, the same for you. . . )

He’s not distracted by lesser things. He gives me his perfect attention, his total assistance.

He’s dedicated to my good. It’s for both his good as well as mine.

I can trust him to get me where he needs me to go. He will guide each step. He will arrange my arrival to be right on time.

There’s a satisfaction that comes with single-mindedness. With completing a goal. With ending up in the right place because you kept heading in the right direction.

So even though I do use my phone for directions, as long as my old GPS keeps working, I’ll still occasionally pull it out, too. And turn the other devices off.

A dedicated device has a way of getting me where I want to go with no enticements to look away.

I want to give full attention to this journey I’m on. With my dedicated companion.

* * *

My husband Jeff, on the other hand, still prefers a real map when possible (if he uses directions at all). You? Please share in the comments.

22 thoughts on “Dedicated Devices, and Why I Still Love My Garmin GPS

  1. Debbie Putman

    I’m a fan of Waze. It will reroute me when there’s a long delay due to traffic, I can turn the sound on or off. But I love your analogy of God focusing in on one thing: me and my destination.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s my favorite feature of Waze too. When I see stalled traffic ahead, I can look at Waze and figure out how long my wait will be….because I don’t usually turn it on in advance (maybe I need to change that? lol).

  2. bill (cycleguy)

    Good application Lisa. as for me, I’m with Jeff. I prefer a map but they get so cumbersome and space-taking-up. How’s that for a made up word? Jo likes to use Maps. I have a GPS or whatever it is called in Frontier but most generally try to find out directions through personal contact before I get to that. I think the voice is annoying and it interrupts my music.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Maybe it’s a man thing? 🙂 Although I admit…I do still like to see an overall visual of a route, and that comes best with a map (either paper or digital). It helps me to navigate the details when I have the big picture in mind. There’s a spiritual lesson in that too.

  3. Lesley

    I’m the same- if I’m not driving I don’t pay attention at all! If I am driving I prefer to look at a map (either physical or online) beforehand and have an idea of where I’m meant to be going. I like your link with God focussing on us and having one goal- to guide us in the right direction. I just need to learn to ignore the other distractions more so I can focus on him!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad you understand, Lesley. It’s awful when I’ve been somewhere a gazillion times and still don’t know the way. ha. I really need to improve on paying attention when I’m not driving. I have one daughter who is just like me, and another daughter who knew her way around by the time she was 2 years old. Some things are just built in.

  4. Anita Ojeda

    I’ve learned that using my phone can lead me to some really strange places and potentially dangerous situations…with a bus full of students…I have a hybrid approach now. I check a map against my phone’s directions. That way, I don’t end up with a bus load of kids on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere stuck in a creek…but I digress. I love the point you make here–that God is dedicated to making all things work out for our good–but we need to let him lead us!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s wise to use multiple sources, Anita. There’s a spiritual application for that too. God doesn’t want us just listening to our own voice, or that of one other person, but to take advantage of a community of believers to help us navigate our route. I wouldn’t want to end up in the middle of nowhere with a bus load of kids either. lol.

  5. Barbara Harper

    A real map? Oh, I hated having to pull off the road to consult a map and then try to get it folded in the right places for easy reference on the road. But I can still remember plotting trips beforehand and marking the route with a heavy pen on the map.

    We had the old Tom-tom, which helped. But I like my Google Maps app because it gives the street name rather than “right turn ahead” (which was confusing when the Tom-tom did that when there were several right turns ahead) and it even tells me which lane I need to be in. My husband likes Waze because it has saved him from traffic snarls due to construction of wrecks.

    So many devices have a multiplicity of uses these days. It can get confusing, and personally I probably don’t get nearly the benefit of them because I don’t have time to research or try out all the functions. I love what you brought out about God’s single-mindedness for each of us.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love hearing the exact turns as well…and especially detailed instructions like “stay in the far right lane.” Jeff prefers we turn the volume off. ha. But when I’m driving alone, I keep it on. I wish I were as in tuned with God’s voice as I am my gps…

  6. Michele Morin

    My nose is either firmly planted in a book or my brain is in neutral when I’m not driving, so I’m pretty clueless about directions. We have a Garmin that our kids tease us about, but I love it. And I also love the way God commits to directing me, and He doesn’t give up, even though I may become distracted. He’s always on course!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Same here, Michele. One reason I love trips is because I get to read so much in the car. 🙂 When we traveled through Maine, I didn’t read quite as much because I wanted to see our surroundings, but usually my nose is in a book too.
      Yes, God is definitely patient with us and our distracting brains. Grace!

  7. Pam Ecrement

    We had a Garmin….you’re right about how it focused on just one thing. We loved it, but with Maps and Waze it has gone the way of floppy disks. Your analogy is so spot on, Lisa. It’s a great word picture to carry with me about the need to allow my focus to be as consistent and constant as the old Garmin.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Alas, I know you’re right, Pam. (I probably still have a few floppy disks in the back of a drawer somewhere. lol) Thankfully God never needs an update!

  8. floyd samons

    Wonderful application, Lisa. Anything that reminds us of road of our life that leads ultimately to our Father is a Good thing. It’s so easy to get distracted and end up on the wrong path or detours.

    Thanks for the creative reminder of being singleminded to His guiding of our journey.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I’ll take whatever God wants to use to point me back to him. Again and again I need it! And if he wants to use my Garmin, I can plug it back in from time to time. 🙂

  9. June

    Fun post, Lisa. I always like to map any new journey first, before we leave, so I know where I’m going but then use the app on my phone when we’re in the car. The problem I find most often is that it takes you the shortest route, which is not always the *best* route. I’m sure there is an application to be made somewhere there as well! I’m very thankful God sees the big picture and keeps us on the right path, when we listen and follow His leading!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      So is it safe to admit that I still use Mapquest as well? lol. I do what you do: I like to see the overall trip route before I ever head out. Then I can take the one-by-one directions in the car. Ooh, yes, you are on to something about the shortest route not necessarily being the best one….sounds like another blog post in there. 🙂 Hope you’re having a great Thursday, June!

  10. Jean Wise

    This is so good! I too have an ancient Garmin – we call her Carmen Garmin. Bill’s GPS is now built into his new car – she has a name too. Yes we are odd. But this has been a great post to read tonight. Inspirational!

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