“Go .3 miles and turn right.”
“Go .7 miles and turn left.”
Taking my grandson to his Cub Scout meeting should not be an adventure, but having no inner compass – well, it’s not so much fun. I had been to this meeting place once before – over a month ago. Way back off the beaten path, in a small church. The first time I went, my daughter-in-law led me there…I hated to ask her to do it, but I knew it was the only way I would find the place. So, she drove ahead and once we arrived, she went back to the house to have a tea party with my wife and the two young granddaughters.
Follow the leader – it works for me.
Since my son travels a lot in his job, I do my best to attend all of the Cub Scout functions with my first-grade grandson, Nicholas. Knowing that I was going to have to drive to this church again, in the dark, had already caused me to be anxious. I hate to get lost – and it happens frequently. My wife kindly refers to me as ‘directionally challenged.’
Plugging the address into my phone’s GPS was not very helpful. As I had continued to follow the GPS instructions, I found myself driving in circles. I ended up at the same dead end at least three times before.
No church was in sight.
I called back to Nicholas, “I will give this one more try and if we don’t find it, we’re going back home.”
“But I really want to go to my meeting, Grandpa,” he replied. He sounded so sad.
The only good thing about the GPS voice was that it did keep leading me back to one main road; one that I knew would take me back to the route to my daughter-in-law’s house. No matter where it had me turn, I ended up back on Roller Coaster Road. Appropriate, I thought.
That was, until I received the directions above – only seconds apart. This was a full 25 minutes into the drive which should have only taken 15 minutes door-to-door.
My stomach was in knots and I was ready to give up…realizing I was at the same dead end once again.
Then the GPS voice really began to go crazy…
“Make a u-turn whenever possible.”
“Turn right on White Cliff.”
Oh-oh. I knew I was in trouble. Like a broken record. In quick succession: “Make a u-turn whenever possible, turn right on White Cliff, make a u-turn whenever possible….” I was ready to throw the phone out the window…
As I turned around in the dead end yet again, a truck pulled up next to me and the driver rolled down his window. “Are you lost?” the gentleman asked.
“I’m trying to find a church where there is a Cub Scout meeting tonight, but my GPS is not very helpful.”
“Yeah, it is right over this hill, but you can’t get to it from this road. I think I know how to get there, if you want to follow me.”
“Ok, I’ll be happy to follow you. I have no idea where I am.”
As it turns out, he did know the way. My GPS constantly badgered me to ‘make a u-turn’ all the way. But I was too busy keeping the truck in sight to figure out how to turn it off. As we pulled into the church parking lot, I told Nicholas, “Grab your book, we’re a little late.”
How often in life, do we end up following directions that simply take our life in circles? All we need to do is follow the one Leader who will get us exactly where we need to be.
“Follow me.” That’s what Jesus wants us to do.
Sometimes the simple answer is the only one we need.
Sitting at the table in the church fellowship hall, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of satisfaction as two dads and scouts arrived after I did. As they complained about trying to find the church, it allowed me to feel a bit better about my lack of an inner compass.
“Directionally challenged,” indeed.
All we really need is a leader who knows where to go. I’m so grateful that I have one who knows!