The world moves in mysterious ways—the mantra for those who want to rationalize or reconcile all the horrors and disappointments life has to offer. This foundational slogan of the faithful strengthens and fortifies them in times of need. Here’s an example:
Horrific flooding swells the rivers of Arkansas. Houses and cars and people float away. Everybody who can evacuate, does so. Post haste. Others, like Farmer John, are less fortunate. A deeply faithful ad religious agrarian, he climbs to the roof of his floating house and waits for the Lord to rescue him. His neighbors call up to him from a rowboat, “Farmer John, jump down and we’ll save you.”
Farmer John replies, “My faith will save me, be on your way.” Sometime later, a helicopter hovers overhead and drops a rope ladder to the stranded but pious man. Once again, he waves them off, shouting that his faith will save him. As soon as they depart, rain comes down in torrents, and the river rises so fast that all Farmer John can do is to climb to the very top of his roof and cling to a shaky weather vane. But alas, the river swallows up the houses and the farmer with it.
As he takes his last breath, he pleads to the sky, “Lord, why have you forsaken me? I had all the faith in the world.”
A bolt of lightning streaks across the heavens and a cavernous booming voice rings out, “Farmer John, I sent you a rowboat and a helicopter, what else did you want me to do?”
Faith can be critical, but it can only take you so far. Some believe the world was created in seven days, the good will go to heaven eventually, the NFL is run for the benefit of the players and the fans, politicians will keep their promises, the bible is all you need, and all good things will come. Faith will see them through the trials and tribulations of life.
What mystifies me is what we choose to put our faith in. When the objects of our trust are human—weather forecasters, political pundits, fortune tellers, clergy, and the like, we know we are taking a risk. So we have turned to higher powers—from the Oracle at Delphi to numerous religions, each claiming to be the Absolute.
Waze is a wonderful app that is kind of like a GPS on steroids. It enhances the satellite map capabilities with real time input from its community of users—a group approaching 100 million worldwide. It has evolved from its 2006 beginnings and grown to be a Google-owned app. Along the way, it has won the loyalty and faith of users who adore it for its ability to uncannily avoid traffic snarls and construction.
I know people who believe that Waze is always right—in the face of empirical evidence to the contrary. When the miraculous cyberguide misdirects, they say “there must have been a reason.”
Well, those in my life who can’t abide my Luddite, anti-technology contentment convinced me to use Waze. So I experimented and programmed it to guide me to a location that was familiar to me. I started out following Waze’s routes and instructions. Within minutes I was miles away from my destination’s path. It was worse than useless. Those crazy wazies in my life insisted that there must have a been a reason. There wasn’t.
I won’t subject myself to Waze Worship. I may never get where I want to go, but I won’t go crazy.
BTW, Siri doesn’t know dick.