Going GPS – arriving at the destination, but missing the journey

by Rev. Jimmy Vaughn, pastor Authentic Life Fellowship

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based global navigation satellite system that provides reliable location and time information in all weather and at all times and anywhere on or near the Earth when and where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites.

Is it just me, but I am equally impressed by this modern marvel as much as I’m creeped out by this George Orwellian “1984” tool of “Big Brother.” The “GPS” has become as integral a part of our day to day lives as cell phones and the internet. This device can guide you from place to place so reliably that you really do not have to pay attention to the route you took to arrive. It can tell you how fast you are traveling in comparison to what the speed limit is on that particular stretch of road. It shows important landmarks and other wanted points of destination like shopping malls, restaurants, and gas stations. If you’re involved in an accident it can even contact emergency response personal.

But with all this, it does have a down side. You can soon become so dependent on the technology that you become unaware of your surroundings. The people, places, and sights become just something to navigate through to get to a point of destination. We become so tunnel versioned, so self centered, that our world fades into the blur of our peripheral vision. The great author of the last century Ralph Waldo Emerson gave us this nugget of truth, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Life is so much more that just how quickly I can arrive at this place and that place. It’s about the journey and the people, sights, and sounds we can share while on our way through this brief stroll called life. It’s these things that are the “spice” of life.

If you will take the time, you will see that far too many of us are so “connected” that we have nearly disconnected with life. What does it say of us when a person will not hang up the cell call to order a meal, or spends more time checking their Facebook updates than talking with the person sitting across the table from them. Just the other day I was sitting eating lunch here in town when a boy sat down at the table across from me and he was playing a PSP. When his mother arrived with their food he never looked up, he just started shoveling the food into his mouth with one hand while continuing to game with the other. It was no surprise when his mother immediately pulled out her iPhone and disappeared into her virtual world. I thought to myself, “monkey see, monkey do!”

We are the most “connected society” in history, but we have lost our love of living our lives in and with the company of others. Life is to be lived in the here and now, don’t miss the really good stuff while “surfing” through your day to day life!