The drive to Wading and Camp de Wolfe was well planned. In an age of GPS systems, I had forgotten what it is like to travel alone, relying on printed maps and written directions. As I ventured from Islip, I found myself struggling to see through the rain. The frequent stops to reread my printouts did little to give me confidence. I could only hope that I was going in the right directions.
As I headed east and then north, my uncertainty continued to grow. My stops became more frequent. At one point, the feeling that I was heading in the wrong direction became overwhelming. I stopped, struggling to know how I could get additional help at 1 am on a Saturday morning.
In my reflection fog, the iPhone chirped. The obvious answer was sitting beside me. As I typed the address into the GPS app on my phone, I gave up my ability to think and followed blindly.
It took a while for the phone to pick up my precise location. As I drove half watching the blue dot on my phone and the map, I found myself moving ever closer to my goal. I could sense the confidence returning as my dot and the camp’s dot got closer and closer together.
Following blindly is sometimes a mantra in our lives. We follow specific directions at work without regard for the outcome. Across the ages, generations of individuals have done this. From Paul’s jailer when he was told what he was supposed to do, “He did just that—threw them into the maximum security cell in the jail and clamped leg irons on them,” (Acts 16.24) on through to today, we embrace this mantra.
It often feels good, but there is a risk. When the dots on my phone met, I was certain I was at the entrance to the camp. As I looked in every direction, there was nothing! No camp entrance, no sign, no hint of where I wanted to be.
Blindness, no matter how good our guide may be, has its limitations.