I do not say this to condemn you; I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you. I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds. 2 Corinthians 7:3-4 (NIV)
The day we left on vacation, I succumbed to temptation and bought a GPS device. I had coveted one ever since I got to play with my friend’s at Folk School in March. I really did not need to spend the money on a toy, but there it was in Wal-Mart on an end shelf where I could not avoid it, calling to me, “Buy me, I won’t disappoint you.” So I bought it. It cracks me up to think of myself, a five decades old baby boomer, going on vacation with all her technology. I packed an IPod, digital camera, cell phone, laptop and all their accessories as well as my new Tom Tom. Except, I can’t call him, “my Tommy,” because my husband chose the voice for our GPS, and he liked “Bonnie.” She has a refined and elegant tone, in a Katherine Hepburnish style. She can be very soothing. Bonnie recommended restaurants, predicted how far it is to the next gas station, and even highlighted museums and other cultural attractions like South of the Border. However, I could not get over my obsession with the regular, old fashioned paper map. All the way to Virginia and back, I rode with a map in my lap and Bonnie at my side. As though she had been forced into a week long final exam, I constantly checked Bonnie against AAA. Bonnie passed, but sometimes, it was dicey. She just did not understand when we would turn off the Interstate for a rest area or gas. She scolded us like a fire and brimstone preacher that we should turn around and repent of our wicked ways. “Turn around at the next legal U turn,” she warned. “Turn right, then, turn left and reenter the highway,” she lectured. If I programmed her for one exit, but we chose another, she announced, “You have passed your destination. Turn around as soon as possible.” When ignored, she tried again, this time, more insistent. When we refused to follow her directions, her screen scrambled as she reconfigured our location and a new route. I visualized her pulling her imaginary hair out. Then, she happily announced a new direction to take us to our destination. Sometimes, my husband got really mad and exclaimed, “Shut that thing up!” While we found her instruction most informative, many times, we delighted in outsmarting Bonnie and being rebellious. “Nope, you can’t tell us what to do.” Just like being a child again. Poor Bonnie was just trying to help. How many times in life have I been forced to reconfigure? I have my ideas about what should be done or better yet, how someone else should proceed. My husband, children, friends and family are all their own individuals and make choices of which I may or may not approve. Yet, it is not up to me to decide for them. Like Bonnie, I rethink my opinion, continue to love and support them no matter where their travels may lead.