An article from the Cathedral Times
by Canon George Maxwell
I was looking forward to my first lobster roll at Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, Maine.
I launched Waze as we left Boston and then I put the phone down. Part of the beauty of navigational apps like Waze is that you don’t have to look constantly at the phone. You just need to listen for the prompts and do what disembodied voice (we call her Samantha) tells you to do.
We were soon safely headed north on I-95.
All Saints-by-the-Sea, the Episcopal summer chapel in Southport, Maine, had invited me to serve as their priest for two weeks and given us a cottage to stay in while we were there.
We weren’t on the road very long before our six-year-old son, Robert, announced that he was hungry. We all were, to tell the truth, and Wiscasset was still hours away. There would be no Red’s Eats lobster rolls today.
I picked up my phone and started searching for a suitable replacement. A fast food burger just wouldn’t do.
“Take the next exit,” I shouted. “This place is going to be great and it’s not far away!”
I clicked on the Google Maps directions and put my phone down again – problem solved!
We ignored the first voice prompt. It said turn left at the end of the exit ramp, but I knew we should turn right. This often happens when the app thinks that you are on the road next to the one you are actually traveling.
When I looked back at the phone, though, I noticed that we were just about to miss a turn that the voice prompt hadn’t announced.
A minute later, when we took a turn that the voice prompt had announced, I noticed that the app was recalculating the route and extending the estimated arrival time.
That was when my wife, Mary Hunter, gently asked, “Do you think there is any chance that you still have Waze running in the background?”
The navigational systems were battling each other. Google was showing us how to get to the restaurant while Samantha was telling us how to get back onto the interstate!
I muted Samantha and we laughed our way to the restaurant.
It strikes me that we often need to discern which voices we are going to follow. In life, though, the answer to what we should do usually depends on who we think we are.
As Henri Nouwen notes, the most destructive temptation isn’t really money, power, or sex; it’s self-rejection.
This Sunday is Homecoming Sunday. Many of us will be coming back to church after a summer away. It’s a joy-filled time of seeing old friends and hearing new stories.
It’s also a time to hear again the good news that the church has for you.
You are a child of God and in you God is well pleased.
Remember that you are blessed.
It will let you laugh and make lunch a lot more fun!