The Woman in the Box
Occasionally I have heard it said that having a relationship with another person outside of a marriage has actually enhanced the marriage. I have never believed that.
However, I truly believe that my marriage to Sally has been enhanced during this trip by my developing love for a dusky voiced American lady, called Maggie, or Magellan Maestro to give her her full name. She happens to be imprisoned in a small electronic box and tells me where to go when I am trying to navigate my way around this strange place where people drive on the wrong side of the road (Although I definitely have the easier part of the deal in this exchange... I only have to cope with driving on the wrong side of the road... Geoff has to drive on the other side of the road, use a manual car instead of an automatic, and must cope with the shock of our petrol prices!). She is the electronic voice of the Satnav (or GPS as they call it here)which a couple called Laurie and Ed Bawden have leant us for the duration of our stay. I have fallen so much in love with this piece of gadgetry that I may invest in one when I return to GB... It may ultimately prevent irretrievable marital breakdown between myself and Sally, who has many, many gifts and graces but map-reading an a sense of direction are not among them. And given that patience with others under pressure is not one of my virtues, it is perhaps best that I am ordered around in the car by an electronic woman... She keeps calmly recalculating the route when I blithely cruise by the exit she instructed me to take, although last night I nearly pulled her cable out and threw her out the window because she was insisting that I should turn right into a road that was closed off for construction... But far better that I should consider doing that to a machine than to my wife... Better still that I calm down and don't consider doing it at all.
But more and more we find ourselves dependent upon technology... I have had internet glitches both at the parsonage where we are staying and at the church office over recent days, and I have wasted an inordinate amount of time trying to sort out the respective problems... with the help of a nice AT&T man and the local internet whizz Eric Thomasma respectively... Not only do I wonder at times whether these electronic gizmos really make things simpler or a lot more complicated... But I (and most other people I know) continue to be seduced by them... We just need to make sure who is boss...
On a similar theme... Faith UMC here in Grand Rapids has stepped boldly into the world of virtual reality with their own website at http://www.grfaithumc.org/. Check it out.