Thursday, December 6, 2007

A GPS for Life?

A well-known teacher and speaker concerning people with intellectual disabilities and sexuality, Dave Hinsburger, has a very interesting blog, "Chewing the Fat". (This statement is not a wholesale endorsement of his world view.) Yesterday he wrote about how handy his new GPS system is, and wouldn't it be nice to have a "GPS" for life. If only G-d would tell us what to do, wouldn't it be easy?
My religious belief is that we DO have this GPS. G-d has clearly told us what he expects, in the Torah (Bible). He instructs us to be honest, to be kind, to help the downtrodden. He has told us to share a bit of our money and goodness with others. We are expected to try and rise a bit above the petty and mundane, and become better people.
The question is, are we willing to listen to our "GPS"? We may be loathe to leave the freeway we are on, with its well-paved asphalt.. Thus, when G-d tells us to turn off onto a bumpier side road, we often don't listen, and even if we do, we are likely to complain. However, we ought to be aware that even freeways can lead you to the wrong destination.
I am very tempted to add here that having a special-needs child is a bit like taking that side road that G-d led us down. Then those of us with special-needs children could all bask in the glory of listening to the "GPS". But I want us ALL to take it further:
-the diet when the overeating freeway is packed (literally!)
-to make peace with someone you have argued with
-to try and see something from an opponent's point of view… at least to understand him!
-to try for patience when your children do something so obnoxious that you could cry

These are just examples. Think if you can: If G-d gave me a GPS where would it lead me to?

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