One of my God-Given Talents: A Sense of Direction by Brandon C. Hovey

I was using a GPSS: Global Positioning Spurious System

Hunger is a vicious thing.

I was hungry. I was in a town for work and the pizza place that I wanted to write about was closed. I needed to eat, and I wanted it delivered. I was tired and wasn’t too fond of driving. As the options waned due to time and the restaurants on google maps began to close the only option was a ubiquitous sports bar’s carryout. My granola bars were only buying me time before blood sugar levels became low. I made the call.

The order would be ready in fifteen minutes.


I was out the door with a raging speed and into my car within a single minute. I punched in the address to the GPS. I commenced driving.


“Why are you taking me back on the Interstate?”


This was fishy. I watched the landmark I remembered from working here come into view on my left as I headed north on the interstate I was on. Then I made visual contact with the sports bar.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

I passed it on the interstate leading me away from it. I was instructed by it to leave the interstate and take a left. I was back in familiar surroundings after the exit and I spied one of my favorite gas stations in the region. I made something out of this road away from my destination. I picked up some coffee beverages for the morrow and bottles of water. Plus, I topped of the tank. I then reactivated the GPS and got back on the road.


The address wasn’t received by the GPS block. Instead of being in the 1000 block of a main drag I was in Block 10000 of a rural route where all I could see was crabgrass and a sign advertising a campground. I double backed to the truck stop and took a left. I shut off the GPS and followed the lights of the downtown back to where I needed to go.

I needed to shut off the targeting computer. 

I made it to the sports bar in five minutes after I shut the GPS. Navigation is one of my God-given talents. Ask my wife. She’ll tell you I love maps as much as Bilbo Baggins. I once navigated for a car load of interns in the wilderness of Labrador. No one had a GPS, and no one knew how to read a map. All except me that is.


In our modern world we are too attached to our smartphones, are GPSs, and all sorts of gizmos. Sometimes we just need to use our brains. That’s what I needed to do. I’m fortunate to live in the 21st Century, but I’m also blessed to have a good sense of direction. I needed to let go of technology and rely on my God-given instincts. I’m glad I did. Otherwise I would have turned a simple trip into an exodus.

Make no mistake, that GPS is one of the best gifts my wife gave me. But there are some situations where it should not be used. This was one of them. When should you use your instincts more? Has there been a time when you should have relied on your own personal talents rather than technology?

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