A few months ago I was on the road visiting in an unfamiliar area, visiting someone who had moved into a new home. I knew the vague area in which these people lived, and headed off in the general direction. When in the vicinity of the home, I reached for the Melways in the back of the car, only to find that it had been removed… I continued to drive for a little while, looking for other signs to indicate that I was in the vicinity. I stopped once or twice to ask directions from locals (a big step for a male!), but the fallacy of such a tactic was proven when I was met with blank stares, and confessions that they didn’t know the street either.
I began to search for a newsagent, in the hope that they had a Melways on sale that I could peruse. But instead of looking for one street I couldn’t find, I was now looking for two elusive targets!
The whole experience was a reminder of the importance of a map which can guide us through: a reminder of the importance of Scripture in the life of the christian, providing guideposts and instructions to lead us through life’s complexities. Familiarity with the broad instructions of scripture is enough to guide us through the broad and familiar issues of life: how we should relate to others, what makes relationships work, how we should relate to God, the attitudes we should bear in this world, what takes us through to the next world safely. And there are times when we need some more specific instruction, which often can be found through deeper and more intense study of scripture, coupled with prayer.
Some christians meander through life, never quite sure where they are heading, whether they are on target, or how to find the right path. In many cases this is due to an unfamiliarity with the scriptures - with the teachings of Jesus. Many of our critical moments could be clarified by a deeper familiarity with the Word of God. Nothing can replace systematic and routine reading of the Bible.
But there are some moments when it is not enough. When I recovered the missing Melways from the home, I discovered that it would not have helped anyway - the edition I owned did not contain the new development.
How did I find my way? I spoke to the owner, who could guide me in from where I had reached. A reminder of the important relationship between prayer and scripture. One guides us most of the way, and the relationship with the Master guides us the rest!
August 27, 2000
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