I got up super early in order to leave my apartment by 4 in the morning. I was booked on a 6 am flight heading to the US for the annual ACSI Recruitment Fair. Things all went pretty well except for the vegetarian meals that I was forced to eat because the flight attendant insisted that I had ordered them. I apologize to all you vegetarians out there, but I really struggled with the curried tofu and cucumber and carrot sandwich. Needless to say, after about 18 hours of travel, I arrived to a violent thunderstorm and hail. No wonder the flight was so bumpy and my stomach was in a knot! (Well, maybe it was the food….) Anyways, I finally hopped into my rental car and plugged in the GPS that we always use when in the US. Nothing. It wouldn’t turn on. I almost panicked.

I had flown into Detroit, Michigan, a place that I had never been to before. I needed to drive about three hours to Grand Rapids in the dark and rain without a map. I ran back into the rental car office and they offered for me to rent a GPS for $17 a day. I figured I could buy one cheaper than that, so I found my way to the nearest Walmart. Again, nothing! How could two devices not work? Now I panicked. I ran back into Walmart and explained my situation to a very understanding young worker. My cell phone was still on an Austrian plan, so I couldn’t even use Google Maps. He helped me purchase and install a new SIM card and got me set up to go. (If you can’t tell, Mr. Brobst is my personal IT guy, and he wasn’t with me on this trip. J) It took a long time for the phone to realize that I was in Detroit and not Vienna, but it finally showed me a map. Over 24 hours later, with no sleep, I arrived at my first hotel.

I got to thinking about why I was so frazzled when I didn’t know where I was or where I was going. I’ve heard it said that if you don’t know where you’re going, that’s exactly where you’ll end up. Nowhere. I suppose the same could be said of life. What is my personal map that gets me through life? Do I just randomly react to what happens to me, or do I have a goal in mind that keeps motivating me to move forward? A big part of “growing in grit” is keeping the end goal in mind so that when obstacles get in our way, we don’t give up. Another thing that came to mind is that the Bible, God’s Word, is like a road map. It gives me direction as to how to live a life that is pleasing to God. It provides advice for when I run into a detour or a road block. It also is like a GPS that tells me the speed limit and the best way to get from one place to another. God knew that we would need help as we walk through life.

It turns out that the car’s charging stations weren’t working. Even when I traded the car in for another one of the exact model, they wouldn’t work either. I had no power for charging a navigation system. The entire situation sure got me thinking. This trip reminded me of how important it is to know my destination and goal and to have a reliable source that provides me with direction in getting there. And just like it was so important to keep the GPS plugged into a power source, I need to keep getting recharged in my personal relationship with God.

There is so much more to tell you about my trip, but I’ll just have to tell you about hitting the deer another time. It sure is good to be back home in Vienna – the U-bahn is so nice!

Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Director