Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Gary steered the car along the exit ramp and turned left into a gas station. "Recalculating," she said. "She" is the tiny little woman who resides inside our GPS unit. I shall call her Gertrude.

Gertrude can be a great help. This past weekend we traveled to a family reunion in Pennsylvania. I carefully plugged in the address of my aunt's house. Sure enough, zipping along the interstate, over hill and dale and through the rolling countryside, we successfully pulled into the driveway at our destination. Gertrude had been good to us. However, she was not always happy with us.

Several times we ran into construction and re-routing along a detour. Gertrude did not approve. She clearly took issue when we took an unexpected turn. She annoyed us with her constant "Recalculating. Recalculating." When the detour took us in a big circle, she cried out even more. We didn't want to hear it. In fact, we even unplugged her when we thought we knew better.  Apparently, either she did not understand what was going on or she protested because we were in err. Hum...

Sometimes it was hard to figure out where to go. Gertrude told us one thing while the atlas suggested otherwise. What to do? What to do? If we chose the map, Gertrude protested. Protested, that is, until she  convinced us that her route would get us where we needed to go. She then fell silent, content that her will and the map's will matched. It was a peaceful, easy feeling.

I've been feeling a bit conflicted myself, hearing "recalculating" as recent events forced a course change. I bet Caleb feels the same way. The way seemed so clear, so obvious. But then unanticipated construction - or was it destruction? - caused a detour. Around and round we all went, losing our perspective. Where are we? Where are we supposed to be going? But now, though traveling an unfamiliar road, Gertrude's voice remains calm, directing us little by little. The final destination is still in the distance, the route unclear, but the wheels are turning in the right direction.

I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.
Psalm 119:32


Rick Gray said...

Tammy and I have not named our GPS unit, but we have the same female voice saying "Recalculating Recalulating". Sometimes we are driving down the road and our unit shows us driving in the grass. Go figure. Our paths are certainly unclear, but if we have faith and are patient God will get us where we need to go. Life's troubles today will be laughed about in years to come. The daily devotion for today is "Birthday Mishap". Yes, you and your entire family forgot about Seth's birthday, but today you laugh about it. My family and I often laugh about a an accident many years ago. I was sleigh riding with my parents lying head first on my stomach. I was maybe six or seven years old. At the bottom of the hill I somehow hit a big pile of rocks. After the shock, I can still remember standing in front of one of those tall door mirrors looking at my cut up face and my parents just standing there laughing. I must have been a sight. What is a sour apple today will be a sweet cherry tomorrow. Caleb will get that sweet cherry!

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

Well, did you at least have good blood to show for it? :)

Rick Gray said...

I just really remember my Mom and Dad laughing at me and don't remember how bloody I was, but I do think I was pretty scratched up (certainly nothing serious). Everytime I bring up this event at a family gathering, my parents say they remember me getting hurt, but never remember them laughing at me. We then all laugh some more.

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

Weird how morbid we can be sometimes. But, always have to keep things in perspective.

BTW- How was Rattlesnake for you?

Rick Gray said...

Things went reasonably well with a 6:04. I think I had just done a bit too much mileage and ran too hard on Thursday night for my fast 5 mile run with the roadies. The 2nd half I just did not seem to have any speed on the climbs. I was fine on the downhills, flats and even technical downhills, but struggled on the climbs. As you know the climbs at Rattlesnake are reasonably short, but steep. There were alot of blow downs that required bushwacking to get around. My desire was to be closer to 5:30, but it did not happen. I was very proud of Beth. She won the womens with 5:29. I was with her until around half way and then she just gradually pulled away on the climbs. Tammy, Beth, JJ and myself traveled up together. We were going to camp, but the rain scared us off (mainly Tammy and I). I enjoy the race as it is lowkey with so many friends there. Adam won the mens and he was just out there playing. There is a good possability that this will be the last year for Rattlesnake after 16 years. This was my 5th year and I hate to see it go. Now I have to find a July race. My North Carolina buddies say I need to run Grandfather Mountain Marathon, which is always the same weekend. I have run it three times, but not since I have become addicted to trails!

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

16 years? Really? I ran the first one but didn't think it was that far back. It was only one of 2 course records that I set...easy to do if it's the first one. :) AT least I think it was year one...the memory goes with each passing year.

Anyway, fine job on you thousandth race...or so it seems.