Ever see or hear one of those stories that just makes you say, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Well, I saw one like that yesterday. A lady by the name of Sabine Moreau, age 67, left her home in Erquelinnes, Belgium to go to Brussels to pick up a friend from the train station. That should have been a 93-mile trip, one-way. However, Ms. Moreau either entered erroneous information in her GPS or has a faulty device–and chose to follow its directions anyway, despite what should have been recognized relatively quickly as an obvious problem. How serious was the error? Rather then heading generally north, Moreau traveled south east for some 900 miles, finally realizing something was amiss when she ended up in Zagreb, Croatia. By that time Moreau had been in five different countries (besides Belgium), passing through parts of France, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia before crossing into Croatia.
Along the way she stopped for gas twice, was in a minor traffic accident, and even stopped to sleep for a while. I do not want to be too judgmental, but it would seem that something more may be wrong with Moreau than an over-dependence on her GPS. After all, to put this in context for those of you who live near me geographically, Moreau’s trip would be akin to me setting off for Gettysburg (SD) and finally realizing something wasn’t quite right when I hit Dallas, Texas. When Moreau figured out was going on and called home she discovered that her family had filed a missing person report, and police were about to start searching for her!
As I pondered the silliness of this story I was reminded of a few things. First, technology–no matter how good it is–is only as good as the one operating it. This is an important thing to keep in mind as we become more and more dependent on the every-multiplying number of technological conveniences around us.
Second, as ridiculous as it seems to think that someone can go 900 miles in the wrong direction without realizing it, we have a tendency to do the same thing spiritually. Moreau had to have passed hundreds of road signs on her way to Zagreb, and almost any one of them should have clued her in to the error of her ways. She either had absolutely no understanding of her surroundings and of basic geography, or she was oblivious to the signs around her, ignoring the direction that was plenty clear.
Romans 1:19-23 (ESV) says:
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
God has provided plenty of signs for us. There is really no way Moreau can claim to have had no idea that she had passed through five countries going in almost the opposite direction of where she should have gone, almost ten times further than she should have gone. Given the signs that abounded along her route, the only possible explanation is stupidity (which I define as refusing to use the intelligence you have). Quite frankly, Moreau became futile in her thinking (if she was thinking) and she became a fool. At the end of the day, though, it just makes an interesting (if ridiculous) story.
So many of us, however, are ignoring the signs that God has placed around us. God has clearly and plainly revealed Himself to us, and when we fail to see the signs that is our fault, not His. When we ignore the signs, that is our fault, not His. We are without excuse. And while we think we may be wise, we are really fools. Stupid fools. At the end of that journey, though, there will be something much worse than an embarrassing story…and I’m not kidding.