Friday, June 14, 2013

DEVOTION: Lessons from a GPS ~ Shirley Corder

GOD gives out Wisdom free . . . So now you can pick out what's true and fair, find all the good trails! Lady Wisdom will be your close friend, and Brother Knowledge your pleasant companion. Good Sense will scout ahead for danger, Insight will keep an eye out for you. They'll keep you from making wrong turns, or following the bad directions Of those who are lost themselves and can't tell a trail from a tumbleweed . . .  Traveling paths that go nowhere, wandering in a maze of detours and dead ends. . . So--join the company of good men and women, keep your feet on the tried and true paths. (Excerpts from Proverbs 2:6-20 Msg)

Some people always know where they are. They never get lost. I know. I'm married to one of them. The result is, when I am with my husband, I never get lost either. The problem is, I'm not always with him—and so I get lost. Often.

Recently I was going to the mega-city of Johannesburg. The traffic at rush hour on the ring road around the city is so bad that the only way you can change lanes is to step out your car and climb into the one next to you. The solution is to get off that concrete highway and negotiate your way through the suburbs. If you're my husband, that makes sense. If you're me—it doesn't.

So we got a GPS.

What's a GPS, you ask? The initials stand for Global Positioning System. This space-based navigational system is based on signals received from satellites which orbit the earth about 12,000 miles above us. Mind-blowing. Once I got used to the spooky feeling of being watched by unseen robotic eyes, I found it amazing.

Now when I have to navigate new roads, I punch the address into my GPS and a pleasant-sounding lady directs me to my destination. If I get stuck in traffic, I can try for the nearest exit and trust my GPS to "recalculate" and find me an alternate route.

As long as I follow instructions, I can be sure of arriving where I need to be. Even if I make a mistake along the way and miss a turning, my new friend tells me she's "recalculating," and she gets me back on track.

My GPS has a clear screen with a bright map, yet sometimes the traffic is too heavy to take my eyes off the road. I can ignore the map and concentrate on just one direction at a time as spoken out by the voice in my GPS.

Fifteen years before I had even heard of the Global Positioning System, I found myself driving an unfamiliar and terrifying route through the cancer valley. I don't think I would have survived if I hadn't had the Lord as my GPS, even if I hadn’t heard the term.

My surgeon didn't expect me to survive a year, and I found my life road littered with the heavy traffic of surgery, radiation, two courses of different chemotherapy, anti-hormone treatment, oncologists, conflicting road signs in books, and misleading detours from well-meaning but wrong-thinking people. Sometimes I made rash decisions, and went the wrong way. Yet whenever I stopped to listen, God "recalculated" and set me back on the right road.

As a writer, I sometimes have no idea how to reach my destination. I may have a story-plan, but I hit a detour. I get lost. Time to consult my built-in GPS. He always knows where I am and how to get me back on track.

Life is hectic. Life is confusing. We face so many choices and have to make so many decisions. Yet no matter where we are in life, we only need to keep our ear tuned to our ever-present GPS, or God's Positioning System.

SHIRLEY CORDER lives on the coast in South Africa with her husband. Her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer contains 90 meditations based on some of the ways God's Positioning System directed her through the rough times in the cancer valley. It is available globally in print or online in e-versions. Please visit Shirley through, where she encourages writers, or at, where she encourages those in the cancer valley. You can also meet with her on Twitter or FaceBook. Sign up for her newsletter.


  1. Love it! When you follow Brother Lawrence's practice of the presence of God, you begin to develop an internal GPS. We can trust Him, always.

  2. Thanks Shirley. I'm glad the Lord didn't call us to find our own way to do His will orwalk pleasing in His sight. I love His GPS and how His marvellous Holy Spirit makes it come alive in our life and circumstances. I'm also glad He can redirect our lives when we (unfortunately) take a wrong turn.
    Thanks again.

  3. Thanks Judith and Ray. Yes, PTL for God's GPS! We'd be SO lost without it!

  4. God always knows just where we are and where we need to get to. His guiding hand is immaculate. I love the analogy of God having a Positioning Guide. It must hold an awful lot of maps!!! - but then He is God and knows all things. Thanks for the article Shirl.Love Ann.

  5. Loved the analogy Shirley. Hope this works I have tried twice before to comment and it wouldn't allow, not sure why.

  6. Lovely post Shirley! How true to life is a GPS. and more so, God's Positioning System. It's so easy to get off course and find yourself in a soul destroying detour.

  7. Thanks Ann, Dale and Rita. Yes, Dale, it came through this time. Really grateful that there's no SPAM on God's Positioning System. I think we've had a record amount this time round!

  8. Very wise advice, Shirley. Thanks so much. Love the analogy too!