You Can’t Get There From Here

by Tom Wacaster

My first local work was in a small country town in south central Oklahoma. Being new to the state, and the city, I found myself frequently asking, “How do I get to so-and-so’s place?” One of the members was fond of saying, “You can’t get there from here!” No doubt you have had the same kind of response from time to time, and you know that someone was simply being facetious. In fact, you COULD get there from your present location, but you needed proper directions. In the 70’s we relied on a good county or city map. But today we have all sorts of technological devices that can provide you with accurate directions that can direct even the novice traveler to his destination.

Two months ago my wife bought me a GPS for my birthday. GPS stands for “Global Positioning System.” Plug it into your automobile power jack, punch in the address of your destination, and press “Go,” and in a flash you are provided step by step instructions on how to “get there from here.” The little box attaches to your window shield, and a little voice tells you how far it is to your next turn, the direction of your turn, and when you arrive at you destination. Wow! What a modern age in which we live!

On one of my recent road trips I stopped at a station to refuel and grab a snack before returning to my motel room for the evening. As I stepped out the front door I encountered a gentleman attempting to give instructions to a woman who was obviously lost. It was apparent that the man attempting to give her instructions was as confused as she was, and both of them were quite obviously at their wit’s end. Wanting to assist in some small way, I asked the lady if she had the physical address of her destination. If so, I had a new GPS device and could provide her with accurate directions to her destination. What followed was a lesson in human nature, with some practical application when it comes to our sojourn through this life toward our eternal abode.

On our way to my car she stopped and picked up a pencil to take notes. She realized that this little electronic device would provide precise directions to her destination and she was not about to take any chances in being misdirected. She wrote down the directions, checked and double checked her notes, thanked me, and went on her way. As I drove away I found myself asking, “Why can’t people be as concerned about getting directions to heaven?” From this simple incident in life I learned some important lessons.

First, if a person is going to “get there from here,” he must realize that he is lost. This woman was lost, and she knew she was lost. Each one of us are sojourners traveling to one of two destinations. Spiritually speaking, the masses of humanity are much like the woman who needed help. But unlike that woman, they either do not know they are lost, or they do not care. Their spiritual senses have been dulled by the glittering lights of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the vain glory of life. For some, the God of heaven is nothing more than a vague memory of childhood days when they attended the church where their grandparents were members. For others God is some kind of talisman in times of danger or distress. Like so many rabbit’s foot charms, God put back in the box once the danger had passed. These individuals wander through life, squandering every blessing, unconcerned about their spiritual condition, and ignorant of their need for a Savior.

Second, there are those who recognize their spiritual need but, like the woman whom I met outside that store, they have turned to the wrong source for an answer to the lostness of their soul. Our modern theologians keep the masses confused and their minds clouded because, like their parishioners, they have no idea how to get to heaven themselves. When the blind lead the blind, both will end up in the ditch. Those in error can never lead those who are lost to that heavenly shore.

Third, there are precious souls out there who will, upon exposure to the truth, rush to embrace its teaching. They will examine every word, jot down every detail, and check and recheck the instructions provided in God’s GPS. Those who “hunger and thirst after righteousness” will not leave one stone unturned. Indeed, they, like the Beroeans, will examine the scriptures to see whether these things are so (Acts 17:11).

Fourth, the sojourner on his way to heaven will not rely upon his emotions. They are interested in the facts, not feelings. Like our lost traveler, we will take notes (if not with pen and paper at least mentally), check and recheck those notes, and determine to follow precisely, to the letter, each step that God would have us take to get to heaven. We will not argue with truth, or dismiss the obvious.

There is one more point I want to make before I leave this article with you. When I became aware of the plight this woman was in, it dawned upon me that I had it within my power to help this woman get to her destination. I was willing to volunteer and do all within my power to render assistance to this woman. I wonder, why is it that we don’t put forth the same effort when we happen to meet someone who has become spiritually lost and who is crying out for help? Could it be that we do not care about the lostness of humanity? Do we doubt that we have it within our power to properly direct those who are lost to that heavenly home? You and I hold within our hands God’s “GPS.” It is “God’s Power unto Salvation,” the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Maybe it’s time we renewed our concern for the lost, and determined that we would step in to render assistance when someone is obviously looking for help.

Since we are admonished to “give an answer to every man that asketh a reason for the hope that is within” (1 Pet. 3:15), let’s be about telling the world that, indeed, “you can get there from here!”

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