Having been dragged into the 21st century by two daughters persuading me that it is imperative that I have a mobile phone, I have been resisting the temptation to purchase another of those essential pieces of modern technology, the Sat-Nav. I enjoy studying maps and planning journeys. However, the success of these adventures depends on a kind gentleman ensuring that more obscure roads, such as the B6066, are adequately signposted from the A road. Such was the situation on a recent trip to Bournemouth. Duly planned using the mark 1 brain, everything was going fine until we reached the said turn-off for the B6066. Not signposted! It became evident as we made our way gradually west and began running out of town landscape that we had overshot. Back we went and turned towards Bournemouth city centre.
So there we were, surrounded by assorted buses, having tried to negotiate a bewildering one-way system. "Cars aren't allowed here" bellowed a rather officious voice, which I thought was rather stating the obvious, since we had stumbled into a bus station. To cut a long story short, had we turned right instead of left at a certain roundabout, we would have found ourselves yards from our hotel. "Most people get lost trying to find us" were the receptionist's comforting words.
I remember being in New York city in the back of a yellow cab, being taken down to visit the Twin Towers, two weeks before they were hit. Our confidence in the Puerto Rican driver was not helped when he stopped and started consulting the A to Z! I can also remember being on board a late night taxi bus climbing the winding roads of Mount Carmel in Israel, seeking to find an address after the driver had said he was lost. It's even worse when you're flying over the Lake District in a light plane and the pilot suddenly tells you he's lost! My father gave me good advice when he said: "If you find yourself lost, ask a local".
I am reminded of the poem quoted by King George the Sixth during his Christmas broadcast in 1939, just after Britain had entered the Second World War:
I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year, "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown".
And he replied, "Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way".
As a Company, we go into the future putting our hand into the hand of God, seeking through our ministry to speak to those who are lost on life's highway. The Bible, life's Sat-Nav to eternity, is there for all: timeless, eternal words of hope. As we go into our autumn programme, we pray that God will allow us to proclaim the Light who is safer than a known way.