NaBloPoMo: Not on the Digitized Road

Photo post time!! Take a picture of something you see all the time- the simpler, the better. Write a little about what the thing means, symbolizes, reminds you of… Give us a little glimpse into your world.

Have GPS… will travel!

Welcome to my office! My trusty Honda Pilot with 170,000+ miles on it. (Lord willing, it will stay on the road a little longer, as we can’t quite afford to replace it!) My day is spent driving from place to place, seeing patients, families, and caregivers. While I do have a “real” office, the bulk of my day is not spent there.

My must-have “desk accessory” is the car’s GPS. I have learned many different ways to get from A to B to C… and my GPS is indispensable, though it is frequently overly enamored of expressways in its algorithms! I discovered less-used back roads that I did not previously drive in my 20 years of living outside of DC.

Perhaps you noticed that comment, “NOT ON THE DIGITIZED ROAD”… 

I often travel in places that are not programmed into my GPS. The roads are there, but the digital roadmap doesn’t know them. It occurred to me as I sat at the side of this particular street that many times we don’t know where we are going, and what is happening to us. Particularly for my hospice patients and families, it’s as though they are traveling down a road at 90 miles an hour in heavy fog. It must feel to them like they have no brakes, no shock absorbers, and no sense of direction.

I travel with them… sometimes at a distance. Sometimes they are driving crazy, and I long to jump out of the car. Sometimes they are utterly lost but won’t stop and ask for directions. And sometimes, they ask me and my hospice co-workers for advice, or perhaps a better route. We can’t drive it for them, but we can be present and guide them as best we can. When we hit pot holes, we wince and hang on… not knowing when they will finally arrive in the journey from this world to the next.

I remember that none of us know… For none of us have travelled this way before. But there is a lodestar for us all, and that is the Holy Spirit, the Source of hope, truth, and light. It’s where we hear words full of Promise. It’s the quiet Voice that offers reassurance. It’s the Song in the night when our voices are worn thin by tears and grief.

Life that is “not on the digitized road” is full of traffic jams, frustrations, fears and confusion. And yet, we are never alone. I believe that with all my heart.

One comment

  1. Ahh yes GPS – mine is on my phone and I too get those off the road messages. What great reflections on the end of life and how we journey with folks. Such a tough thing to do.


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