The way out should have been straightforward. I was in the center of town. I wanted to get to the major highway heading south. I have a good sense of direction. More importantly, I had GPS. My confidence was on solid ground. Follow the GPS’ directions and head home. Besides, there were only so many ways one could go if one wanted to go to the only major highway heading from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.
I was so naïve. Even though residents and visitors had given me the warnings in equal measure, I assumed that my intuition and technology would make things different. In hindsight, I doubt that the rush hour traffic made things easier. The jammed roads had four to six vehicles going in one direction that would normally have room for two, maybe three. I never saw an intersection with only three options (left, right, or straight). Each seemed to have five or more, some as many as eight. The GPS’ detail did not lend itself to giving advance notice or enough detail.
Ninety minutes later, in 100+ degree tropical weather without a hint of a breeze, I cleared the city. As I ducked in for fuel and Gatorade, I did not know if I was frustrated, exhausted, or relieved. I only knew that the GPS saved me in the end and I was on the right path! Whatever I might think, as irritated, as I had been with my choices and the navigation in equal measure, I was on the right path. As I plugged the iPod into the helmet, I found myself thinking of David’s refrain from across time. “Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face. Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way.” (Psalm 16.11)
Directions are always important. The warning remains; they mean little if the receiver does not know how to apply them. Yesterday, I rediscovered how valuable a guide is. Even then, it takes two to make it work. It is always good to ride.