My Awkward Life: GPS

Drive me right into a lake.
Are you spiritually lost?

Reasons why Em’s a fail! (yay)

Spiritual Compass

A common phrase I’ve heard since childhood: “You’re never lost if you can see the temple.” As I pound my forehead against the steering wheel after the seventh wrong turn in a row despite my GPS, all I can ask myself is: “WHICH TEMPLE IS THIS NOW?  I’VE DRIVEN PAST FOUR ALREADY!” That saying, while spiritually profound, is of little practical use in Utah Valley.

My ability to get lost to even the simplest of destinations is legendary. I’ve been lost on my way to my best friend’s home and back (on separate occasions), even though we’ve lived in the same neighborhood since childhood. When I attempted a solo excursion to pick up my bridesmaid dress (bad idea, even though I’d been to the shop once before), I managed to get lost not only on the way there, but also on the way back. Bear in mind that this shop was along a street that I drive down every day.

Don’t let yourself walk straight into a wall.

Even my phone’s GPS can’t rescue me from trying to get some Chick-Fil-A and ending up in Saskatchewan. This, coupled with the fact that I have little patience and easily get frustrated with myself, can lead me to pull into a random parking lot and allow myself to release some angry tears and colorful words. There’s nothing like screaming “MAGENTA!” at the top of your lungs for a little stress relief.

If I had been among Lehi’s family as they left their home for a life in the wilderness, I’m certain I would have wandered off a cliff, into a snake pit, or somehow found myself back in Jerusalem. Fortunately, they had a magic compass to point them in the right direction. Much like how the bus to Atlantis is fueled by cheesy music, the Liahona was powered by a spiritual USB port.

Alma 37: 40 And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done;

When Laman and Lemuel rebelled against their brother and their God, the Liahona ceased to function. Their ship was driven back against the storm for several days, until the entire family was on the brink of destruction. When Laman and Lemuel finally repented and released Nephi, the storm calmed and the Liahona began pointing the way once again.

The Liahona, BOM Valentine meme
This still doesn’t help when I need groceries.

Even though my internal compass spins wildly when it comes to physical destinations, I can still do my utmost to make sure it still points toward any of the half-dozen temples I can see from my window. When I put spiritual matters first in my life, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal when I find myself a half-hour late for a movie since I got lost on the way from my apartment to my car.

When I surrender control of my life to Heavenly Father, sometimes I can say a quick prayer for guidance (both physical and spiritual), abandon the GPS, and just drive in what I hope is the right direction. More often than not, I find myself more lost than before, but at least I did so with confidence.

After all, another common colloquialism is: “it’s the journey that matters, not the destination.” This is good news for me, since the journey will take twice as long as it needs to, and half the time I won’t end up at the destination.