Never trust a sat-nav…

I recently joined a new writing group. It’s about half-an-hour’s drive from where I live, so I knew roughly where I was going – but not exactly.

“No problem,” said Hubby, “you can take my car and use the sat-nav.”

A sat-nav can be useful, but ours is also incredibly bossy. In fact, we have been tempted at times to name it (her?) after a former acquaintance of ours who always had fixed views about how things should be done. Naturally, I take a perverse delight in ignoring the instructions if I think I know a better way – so when the sat-nav said “Turn left after 150 yards”, I carried straight on. This happened at least three times in the first 20 minutes, leading to increasingly icy commands to “Make a U-turn if possible”, followed by sulky silences when I didn’t comply.


(Look where following a sat-nav gets you.)

As I neared my destination, however, I entered unfamiliar territory. My semblance of defiance was replaced with trusting obedience as I attempted to navigate the last couple of miles.

I was almost there when disaster struck.

“Take the next turning on the right,” said my guide, who seemed to have forgiven my earlier rudeness. I dutifully slowed down and flicked the indicator on – only to discover that the road in question had been closed by the police.


That’s okay, I thought. If I continue, she’ll find me an alternative route. 

I drove on, waiting for words of wisdom.

“Make a U-turn if possible”, said the voice. I refused. If I did that, she’d only direct me up the same (still closed) street.

“Make a U-turn if possible.” I’m sure I could detect a note of smugness now. I didn’t have a clue where I was going, and it didn’t appear as if the sat-nav was going to help me.

I’m sure that sometimes we treat the Holy Spirit like a sat-nav. We ask for guidance – but then do our own thing anyway. Jesus promised that his Spirit would be with us forever, and would “lead us into all truth” – so why do we so often think that we know best? What’s more, we can be sure that when we do genuinely trust him to direct us, he won’t let us down .


And yes, I did get there eventually. I pulled into a side road, stopped the car and prayed – and then under the seat found an extended A-to-Z that covered the area I was trying to get to. God has a sense of humour, too…

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10 Responses to Never trust a sat-nav…

  1. This sounds just like me too! I’ve had lots of SatNav issues this summer i.e. it’s stopped working altogether and I’ve had some adventures without it.
    Same can be said of my walk with God – not that God’s stopped working but I know I don’t always listen!
    Thanks for the reminder to tune in, turn around when possible and get back on track!

    • fjlloyd says:

      Thanks! – I have an inherent distrust of sat-navs, although it has been really useful on other occasions. And sometimes I have to remind myself to trust God, rather than assuming that I know best!

  2. Fran says:

    Brilliant story! And with a great message, but the message comes through without sentimentality and because of the truth of the story. When we went to Grasmere last year, we were amused to see a couple of minor roads with big signs at the end warning, ‘Do Not Do What Your Sat-Nav Says: You Will Get Stuck Down Here’. The signs told stories in themselves!

  3. Lovely story Fiona, I guess we wont need a sat nav in heaven.I once was going on a retreat to an isolated country site when in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields and sheep, having been quiet for what seemed ages the sat nav said, “You have reached your destination.”

  4. Great post! I think I am doing that now. Asking the Holy Spirit to direct me and then doing my own thing. I need to listen more.
    Mostly my sat nav behaves herself. My last one though nearly had a fit when I was driving home late one evening. It wanted me to go through Richmond Park, which was shut. And it would not take no for an answer! Temperamental things aren’t they? Which means they are probably a bit like me!

    • fjlloyd says:

      Thanks, Lynda – I have lots of good intentions about relying on the Holy Spirit, but then I get over-confident and think I can manage on my own – usually just before I fall flat on my face!

  5. Helen Murray says:

    Great post. Made me smile – I too have had my one-way-system disasters with SatNavs. I love that God retrieved the situation with a good old A-Z!

  6. fjlloyd says:

    Thanks, Helen – I love it when God turns situations around like this…and that he usually waits for me to ask him first!

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