Comforting Words: The Internal GPS

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Internal GPS


Geography was not my favourite subject in school and the result has been that to this day I am directionally challenged.

I cannot read a map to save my life – something that has caused me to drive around in circles for hours many a times since moving to Calgary.

More worried than fed up – although I am sure some frustration was involved – Robert decided to help me ‘find my way’ and lower his own blood pressure each day I drive alone to work.

Last weekend, my dear one presented me with a Sony Nav-U83T, which is a Global Positioning System (GPS). Robert is into gadgets and so just any GPS would not do.

This little thingy not only maps my route but it speaks to me, it has Blue Tooth so it connects to my cell phone enabling me to make hands-free telephone calls, it gives me traffic information and it re-configures my route should I ignore its instructions and take a differing turn. One of the greatest things about it is wherever I am; Robert has programmed it so that it will “take me home!”

Since mounting my Sony Nav-U (I still have to name her) in my car, I must say that my daily 3-hour commute to work and my trips around Calgary have been so pleasant and I have been getting home before midnight!

Another thing we did this past weekend, other than playing with this latest gadget, was attend the annual conference of Affirm United in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

I was invited back in 2006 to be one of the keynote speakers at this Conference. I was tempted on several occasions to decline the formal invitation when it arrived in early 2007.

There were so many changes in my life; I was lost in the geography of the land of Singledom and not sure whether I had anything relevant anymore to say to this group. I felt as though I had lost my voice and my fire.

Fortunately, at least for me, I did not decline the invitation; however, two weeks before the event I was unsure about the direction I would take in my presentations.

While I knew the theme, "Welcome at the Edges", and there was even titles for my talks printed in the conference brochures, I had no real direction for what I was going to say to this group of leaders and friends of LGBTQ people affiliated to the United Church of Canada.

Only yesterday, a week after my presentations, as I punched in the address of the establishment that I needed to find on my Sony Nav-U did I realize how I found my voice, my location so to speak, to deliver the two presentations at that Conference.

More importantly, what I realized also was that we all have an internal GPS and it is activated through prayer.

A few days before our flight to Saskatoon, I was still unsure how to approach these presentations so I prayed for guidance fearing that I was going to embarrass myself and Robert who had taken time off work to be there.

It was a Sunday and I had decided to go church shopping. My plan was to visit a downtown United Church that I had found on the Internet. It had caught my attention after almost giving up my search because I could not find a congregation that had images of people looking like me or people who I wish to serve.

A few hours after my prayer and after almost getting myself killed turning on the wrong road which turned out to be railway tracks, I sat in the ancient walls and got the answer to my prayer.

It was in the reading of the day, Corinthians 13: 1 – 6

“If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; It does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.”

That passage became the basis of my talks to a group of people trying to locate themselves in an every changing world – people who are themselves marginalized but trying to reach out to others who are similarly oppressed, albeit for different reasons.

To many it might sound corny but what I have come to learn is that Love is the GPS we all need to tap into and navigate our way through this journey called life.

Had anyone told me in October – December 2006 that I would be standing here today, happy and looking forward to what the second half of my life has to bring, I would have told them they were nuts.

I would have been very wrong in accusing my many friends, who in fact told me that, of insanity.

I recall the words on a note my woman-friend Anni and I found in her late mother’s home a few years ago:

“I have come to learn, that it is Love not time that heals.”

Oh so true are those words!

When we are lost, not sure where to go or what to do next, Love is the Global Positioning System needed.

Love is what led Robert to gift me the Sony Nav-U – love of me and love of his peace of mind that I would get home safely.

Love is what brought me to this point and place in my own journey.

And it was Love that brought Robert and me together – two marginalized and wounded people – in the dance of our lives.

Love will lead my LGBTQ friends of Affirm United as they walk to the edges to celebrate the lives of those living there.

Love will heal all wounds and lead us home -- as Oprah says, I know this for sure because I am living proof!

So as I continue to enjoy my Sony Nav-U, I am even more grateful that with a prayer Love will and is here to guide me.


Blessings,

Claudette

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