The Global Positioning System has made life much easier, especially for those of us who are directionally challenged. If you’re not familiar with it, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite based navigation system. These satellites transmit signals of your exact location to your car navigation system or your smart phone. Just type in the address and these navigations systems will even dictate directions to you while you drive, leading you to your destination.
We can learn a lot about the spiritual life from the GPS. In fact, spiritually speaking, we might say that GPS stands for “God Positioning System.” Just as global positioning systems have made it easier to find our way while driving, so listening to our God Positioning System makes it easier to navigate our way through life.
Yes, God has created us with a built-in GPS, for in our hearts we desire to be in a relationship with the Lord. Each of us desires eternal love and if we keep Jesus at the center of our lives we can be sure that our GPS will guide us through life and into eternity.
We see the GPS at work in this Sunday’s Gospel. People brought a deaf man with a speech impediment to Jesus. Those people knew where to turn for help. Because their GPS was on, they were drawn to Christ. And what happens? Christ heals the man. His ears were opened; his speech impediment was removed.
There are some factors that can hinder the global positioning system’s accuracy. The GPS signal can reflect off objects like tall buildings or large rock surfaces. These objects are obstacles that can slow the GPS signal. We can also have obstacles in our spiritual lives that hinder our God Positioning System: anger, refusing to forgive, or harboring jealousy among other sins. Sin in general is an obstacle to our GPS. If we never take advantage of going to confession, then we can be sure that our GPS is not going to work correctly. If our GPS is not working, we will lose sight of the Lord and we will be lost in life.
How can we make sure our GPS will work, that our inner desire for God will guide us? If we make time for silent daily prayer; if we go to frequent confession and Sunday Mass; if we treat others as we want to be treated and take care of those in need; if we grow in our friendship with Jesus and keep him at the center of our lives; if we do these things, then we can be sure our GPS will work. Like the man in the Gospel, the ears of our hearts will be opened, we will hear God’s word, and we will have clear direction in life.