7 April 2015

Driving At Night

I hadn't realised what a pain it is to drive a long distance at night nowadays. Until this past weekend.

My son had agreed to volunteer as a young leader for a church-run children's camp, but there was the logistical problem of getting him down there, a journey of about 50 miles. Sure I would help... Two of the young leaders piled their luggage into my car on that particular night and I set off. My wife also came along to keep me company on the way home.

Now I knew the road - or I thought I did. Because I'd previously travelled down to this venue during daylight - but everything was totally different at night. There were road signs - but they were unlit, difficult to see, and often obscured by tree branches. Unfortunately I had to set off from a different start point, so although I knew where I was heading for, the route would be pretty much unknown. It would be easy to get led astray, to take a wrong road by accident.

In addition, it was disturbing to see how few roads now had street-lights at night. Those roads that were deep in the countryside had no lights anyway, however the county council had turned off some of the street-lights in remote areas to "reduce energy costs, carbon emissions and light pollution". Even the motorways were only partly lit. Much of the journey was undertaken in pitch black, with my car headlights as the only source of light.

We had satellite navigation, the 21st Century equivalent of a map, but this proved to be hit and miss. Relying solely on the 'tech' frequently led me astray, as it sent me down a dead-end. I ditched a lot of this information and desperately looked out for the street-lights that would show me that I was going the right way.

However, we got there. As much by God's grace as anything.

Psalm 119:105 (NIV) says:
"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."

I know that verse well. However, it's very real to me now. I have lived it out through that experience.

Because I now know how easy it is to take a wrong turn by accident. Particularly in our modern world, where it's so easy to get lost - even when all the signs are there, even when you have all the gadgets money can buy. When someone thinks it's a great idea to turn all the lights off to save money. This means that it can get pretty dark...

I want to be shown the right way, clearly. I want to be able to see any danger which may be in my path. I want to avoid all those other, tempting roads that would lead me astray.

And I want to show others that light, too.

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