Smart Sally


I don’t know what we did before GPS navigation.  Now we just punch in an address and go.  My family even gave our system a name…”Smart Sally”.  We actually stole that name from another family but we like it so it stuck.

Smart Sally has led us safely through numerous states, cities and streets.  Most of the time she lives up to her name and smartly directs us the most efficient and accurate path to our destination.  She even frequently “recalculates” when her human follower makes a mistake or misses a turn.  (Did I say, ‘frequently’?!?)

However, occasionally Smart Sally is not so smart!

This past weekend I was driving a few hours to my daughter’s soccer tournament.  I knew the destination was off a major highway and the only major highway in the area was the one I was on. So why on earth did I exit the interstate an hour before my destination?  Because Smart Sally told me to.  I proceeded to follow her instructions mindlessly on small SLOW country roads while the screen map showed me driving very parallel to the major interstate.

Some may argue Smart Sally was in fact very wise, keeping me and my family safe on the 35 mph roads and giving us ample opportunity to enjoy our surroundings.  I, however, greatly value efficiency and I was very perturbed when I realized how much time I had lost by taking Smart Sally’s scenic route.

How often do I mindlessly go through life without being intentional about my direction?

Do I make my own wise calculated choices or do I simply do what those around me do?

Do I follow popular opinion or do I make my own opinion?

Do I believe what my parents raised me to believe or do I contemplate the options and make my own choices?

Do I believe what my pastor or priest says or do I read the bible and decide for myself?

Do I follow one doctor’s opinion for treatment and prognosis or do I search for one that offers some options?

Do I simply do what I have always done without considering alternatives?

I think it is easier to mindlessly follow direction.  However, sometimes with a little effort we can make better choices and save ourselves time, heartache and struggles.

I won’t be trading in Smart Sally anytime soon.  I will, however, check her against what I already know and try to make the best choices.

My kids now call her “Dumb Sally”.  It doesn’t sound as great without the alliteration but they are not allowed to say the word “stupid”. Why do I let them say “dumb” and not “stupid”? I have no idea.  Perhaps they should not be allowed to say either or maybe we can be open to the term when it is descriptive of a thing and not a person? Up until now that has been a mindless parenting choice…I will have to give it some thought.

For now, I think Smart/Stupid Sally will stick around to help me out!