When your Garmin fails

Written by: Jennifer Wells

Every morning we gather up and review the route for the day, discuss any pertinent information, and do our devotion. This day was no different. So after our circle up I struck out on my bicycle with my Garmin. I turn right, left or go straight whenever my Garmin tells me to do so. My Garmin is my bike friend and has reliably gotten me to all my destinations for the last three to four years. I have ridden over 10,000 miles with my Garmin. I trust my Garmin. This day I am going to tell you about was different.

Henry said we would head North out of town. My Garmin told me to do just that. I followed all of the turns my Garmin told me to make without question—until I realized that I was riding West instead of East. I asked myself “Why would Henry have us go West to then go East?” It was at this point I realized something was wrong. My Garmin was not communicating to me in the way it normally did and it was making weird noises. I checked my cell phone to look at the map, but guess what? No cell reception. I knew I was off the route and had to somehow figure out how to find the route. I had a route sheet, but where was I? I was in the middle of some of Georgia’s beautiful landscape filled with fields of cotton and an assortment of trees. I was on a road that appeared to go for miles. I was 15 miles the wrong direction from my destination.  Rather than panicking I tried to figure out what was going on with my Garmin by turning it on and off and fussing with the settings. When that didn’t seem to fix my Garmin I decided to head back to Americus where I had started out. Fortunately, I had placed a chalk mark at each of my turns. I could follow the chalk marks like following bread crumbs back to my starting point! It would be 15 miles back to the starting point for a total of 30 additional miles that were not planned on for the day.

Once I returned to Americus I quickly realized two realities. I would need to use my route sheet without the aid of my Garmin. How disappointing. I was also 1.5 hours behind the group. I would never catch up with the group. With this reality I settled into my bike seat accepting I had a long ride for the day—120 miles instead of the 91!!

While riding I found myself pondering the following question: if we trusted in God the same way many of us trust in our Garmins or GPS devices what would life be like? So often we don’t listen for or hear what God has to say to us. Some of us are cautious and don’t turn things over to God. We think we know best. I wondered why God let my Garmin send me on such an adventurous ride. Along the way I prayed for cloud cover and cool breezes, no flat tires or mechanical issues and no rain.

Finally, several miles on the route to McRae my Garmin began to perform. I continued to ask God to help me make it safely to McRae. I decided to turn things over to God and trust in him.

Surprisingly, I caught up with some of the riders at the third rest stop! I was so surprised and I thanked God for this gift. We all made it in safely that day.

The lesson learned:  Trust in God more than your Garmin or GPS devices!!!

Posted in 2017 San Francisco to Savannah and tagged , , , , , .