The Map Is Not The Road

Yesterday I was driving home from one of my all-time favorite places, Denny’s, and I was using my Garmin, as I am in the habit of doing when I go almost anywhere whose route I don’t know by heart, and it struck me that I did know where I was going, but I was still intently using my Garmin.

I knew that if I just continued down the road I was on, in a couple of miles I would make a right turn onto the road that would take me home, but I was so used to using GPS that I forgot that I had my own internal GPS.

This got me thinking about Life in general. Sometimes we just don’t know when or where the next turn will be, so we look to somebody else’s compass to guide our own way. We get caught in a one-dimensional view of reality (like the screen on the Garmin) rather than take a look around and get our bearings. Ironically, we lose touch with the real reality in favor of a map that’s designed to represent it.

Maps and Garmins are useful, but they are by no means the real reality – they are by no means the road we are traversing. Sometimes the most useful means of navigation is the one inside.