By Alan Bailey
Travellers in the Australian Outback are awed by its vastness. There is a lot of open space out there.
Recently, a tourist felt its loneliness and emptiness and nearly lost her life. With her husband, she walked for 15 minutes or so from the camp ground where they had spent the night. For some reason they lost sight of each other and became seriously separated.
The husband made his way back to the camp, trusting his wife was going to show up. But she was lost. The area was undulating with low bushes and looked fairly similar in all directions. Having no clear landmark coupled with loss of a sense of direction, the lady simply wandered.
Her husband soon became agitated and a search began. No trace was found that day. The operation escalated the following day with police and emergency workers becoming involved. Soon wide swathes of the landscape were being surveyed by helicopters while scores of volunteers scoured the earth.
Another unsuccessful day went by. Efforts were increased but the following day was also unsuccessful. On the morning of the third day, a movement was seen among the bushes and the lady was found. Cold, (the temperature was around four degrees overnight), and dehydrated. She had had nothing to eat or drink for the whole time. At night she had crouched among bushes to gain some shelter. Her husband was a much relieved man.
Keeping on track
We will do all we can to prevent anything like this happening to ourselves. Yet, it is possible that right now, ordinary, everyday people are even more seriously lost. A line from the Book of Proverbs reads "Sometimes there is a way that seems to be right, but in the end it is the way to death."
Treacherously, we feel that all is OK about the way we are travelling through life. But Jesus warned "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it."
We may well ask, "What is so wrong about the wide road the majority are walking?" God is being ignored, His authority denied, His law constantly broken. Very serious stuff.
We need a Saviour. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus took our penalty on the cross, rose again and opened the road to life that never ends. We enter it when we find Him. •