In Times of Trouble


“She was going way too fast.  Before you knew it she was spinning on a thin black sheet of glass.  She saw both their lives flash before her eyes.  She didn’t even have time to cry.  She was so scared.  She threw her hands up in the air.  Jesus, take the wheel.  Take it from my hands….” – “Jesus, Take The Wheel” from, Some Hearts album recorded by: Carrie Underwood (2005).  Composers:  Brett James, Hillary Lindsey, Gordy Sampson.

Have you seen it?  It’s the latest OnStar television commercial.  It begins with a peaceful night scene in the forest with a young deer drinking lightly from a moonlit stream.  Incoming fade of a car horn blowing as if stuck.  Then the camera pans up to a freshly stranded white SUV caught in the thicket of young trees, angling downward toward the deep embankment.  The driver, who had activated her OnStar button, hears the soothing voice of a customer service representative.  After asking how he might help her, she seems a bit more settled as she is told help is on the way.  She mentions something about how the deer came out of nowhere.  Isn’t that the way trouble comes to us?  Out of nowhere.

OnStar Car


It’s a fascinating technology, isn’t it?  Frankly, I recall the first time I saw a GPS (Global Positioning System) handheld civilian unit.  One of my co-workers bought one around 1993.  It was about the size of a Motorola cell flip-phone of that time.  He simply loved gadgets and this new civilian technology was just too good to pass up.  Now, it’s commonplace.  The satellites above can, and will, navigate you to any corner of the earth.  They also will help to find you, wherever you are.  That’s good and bad news.  Truly amazing.

OnStar technology was born out of the GPS drawing-board.  When you find yourself in times of trouble, who comes to you?  In certain OnStar selected vehicles, you can leave your cell phone where it is.  You push the OnStar activation button, installed in your vehicle and an operator, usually from another part of the planet, speaks, asking how they might be of assistance.  They use GPS on their end to find where you are located on the globe as they then connect with the local authorities, search and rescue, firefighters or auto garage, whatever the need is.  The OnStar customer service coordinator gets back with you confirming that help is on the way, offering to phone a friend or family member on your behalf.  On the television commercial, the calming voice from OnStar tells the driver, “Don’t worry, I’m going to stay with you until they arrive.”  No doubt, during a traumatizing event, it is comforting to hear.

I have an old friend, with a good heart, who lives in New York.  She’s a long-time Broadway actress, singer and dancer.  A few days ago she posted online asking for good vibrations and good thoughts to be sent her way.  She never indicated what her troubles were, just that she needed her friends to send good vibes and thoughts to overcome her current trial in her life.  Understandably, she was being very private about the unspoken issue.  Only God knows.  I have loved my friend for 43 years and would never want to offend her.  I responded, alerting her of “prayers” coming from my house to hers.

Imagine, you are the lady in the stranded SUV out in the forest along the bridge.  Your OnStar button is there, beneath the rear-view mirror, brightened by back lighting with a red circle around it.   You sit there, hanging only by your seat-belt in the darkened woods, 30 miles from humans.  The only thing keeping gravity from taking your vehicle into the embankment, to the river below, are a couple of very young four-foot oak trees with bending trunks.  After you catch your breath, you bellow out toward the animals in the forest (the only ones near you with ears) and shout out, “I need good vibrations here!  Please, send me your good thoughts!”  After the animals run away from your screams, you decide to reach up and push the OnStar button as a last ditch effort.  The live customer rep asks how he can serve you.  You tell him the same, “I need your good vibrations and thoughts.”  He acknowledges the fact that he will have good vibes and thoughts, followed by, “Have a nice day” (click).

Truly, I don’t mean to belittle my friend’s sincere request.  I knew what she was trying to ask for.  Knowing her, I understood there are authentic concerning issue(s) she is fighting right now.  As a person of faith, I elected to go to the One Who lives, Who has shown me His responses in times of trouble, over and over again.  After all, I am a man filled with mistakes and wrong, unethical thinking at times.  My “good vibes and thoughts” may be skewed, off target and misguided.  So, I go to the One who is without failure and impurities, the One Who has the original GPS at hand.  He never fails to deliver in His kind, soothing small voice, “Don’t worry.  I’m here with you.  I will stay with you.  I’m sending help.”

No matter what road you’re on, OnStar or not, you know Who to call when filled with fuel for the race.

“…God is our refuge and strength, a helper Who is always found in times of trouble.” -Psalms 46:1 (CSB)



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