GPS is Watching You

"The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good." 

~Proverbs 15:3

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase "God is watching"? I mean, aside from Bette Midler #EarWorm.

It can sound menacing, as if you are living in an unending surveillance state reminiscent of Big Brother. No doubt, the idea of an omnipresent and omnipotent God has been used as a tool for social control. It's also a terrific way of keeping kids in line.

But I could also imagine it as a comforting thought, as an assurance that my suffering or the suffering of others is being recognized. Divine empathy. And a hope that wrongs will be righted. "For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" (Isaiah 30:18)

For my part, the idea of "the eye of God" is valuable in matters of everyday morality. There is very little question that I act differently when I know people are watching, as opposed to when I think that I'm alone. If I imagine that these decisions are being watched, how would that change me? For the better, I suspect.


There is only one logical place to take this preface--to my GPS watch. Through the marvels of modern technology, I can now track how fast (or slow) I cover every mile on every run. For the majority of my running life, this wasn't the case. I would need to either be on a track or a marked course to have any clue of my pace. Often times when logging my miles, I would guess--and these were very likely generous guesses.

Indeed, once I started running with a GPS watch, my 7 mile loops suddenly shrunk to 6.5. And my "easy pace" of 7:00 minutes per mile suddenly became far less easy.

All of this is to say, GPS is watching me...

Except for this morning--kinda.

I was running hill repeats on a climb that I have done numerous times. When I started the workout, I realized that I hadn't set up my watch to capture splits. So I just ran continuously until I was finished.

I thought that I was working hard. But once the run was over and I reviewed my overall data, I could tell... without GPS revealing my pace, I wasn't going to press it.

So in everything from daily morality to mile splits, it's probably good to know that somebody is watching.