Men and asking directions rarely go together. I know there are exceptions. I also know that I rarely see them. It is as if masculine pride gets in the way. I have been reminded that even the experts ask for help every once in awhile. The recent reminder goes by the name of Rajan.
Rajan is a native of Madras. Given his gray hairs and natural curiosity, he has walked, ridden, and driven all over the city. In my quest for good coffee beans, we ventured off to an obscure address on the east side of the city. His initial confidence was misleading.
“Hi, here is the address that we need to find.” I am not sure why I used the plural “we”. The need was only mine.
“Sure sir, no problem.”
As we headed out, I discovered in retrospect that we were heading for the center of the neighborhood. Rajan had no precise idea where we were going. We weaved our way through the streets until we got to the heart of the neighborhood. As he looked this way and that, given a total lack of anything resembling a street sign, I wondered what he was looking for. A jerk of his head revealed the answer; a large cluster of auto-rickshaws.
“I’ll be right back.”
A few minutes later, he opened the door smiling. “Just a few more minutes.”
A short time later I was sitting in the office of an obscure local coffee roaster. As I began to talk about my quest, the owner of the company interrupted me.
“Can I ask you one question?” He wanted patiently for my nod.
“How did you ever find me?”
I paused while thinking of the truth. I had stumbled on his website while searching on Google for something totally different. Rajan had driven to the neighborhood, seeking guidance from a local auto-rickshaw driver. I smiled; how I could tell others asking, “how will we find our way? Or know when we play the fool?” (Psalm 19.12)
“I, we asked. In the quest, I ended up here.”