The travel story involved South Korean tourists travelling from Brisbane to Rockhampton who needed to be rescued from a remote track in a forestry reserve in south east Queensland after they tried to follow the directions 'to the letter' given by their car's GPS system.
The three followed gravel roads, then dirt roads, then went through a couple of gates, and ended up bogged in a gully in Cordalba State Forest, near Childers. The men, who did not speak English, ignored danger signs and moved rocks blocking a road, to get to an isolated point that was practically inaccessible.
When their Ford Falcon became bogged the men tried to walk out, further endangering themselves. Bundaberg Police received a 000 call about 1am on Wednesday. A council worker found the tourists' vehicle six hours later. The forest has form, Childers Police Sergeant Geoff Fay told the paper. A month ago backpackers also got lost there after following their GPS too faithfully.
Well-Being Australia chairman Mark Tronson, who is also the Footplate Padre, said he is reminded of the story where a fellow thought he would initiate a Bible reading program to seek the Lord's guidance. He undertook the old trick of opening a page and with his eyes closed, he stuck a pin onto the page and read that verse.
On his first attempt, he opened the Bible randomly and closing his eyes, his pin landed on the verse: "And Judas hung himself". He immediately thought he should have another go, as that wasn't a very positive reading to set him for the day. So he tried again and this time his pin landed on the verse: "Go and do likewise!"
Following 'the letter' in any situation is wrought with dangers, problems and difficulties.
He cites from personal experience when he was working as a locomotive engineman with the NSW Government Railways. A 'follow the book' campaign was initiated in the early 1970's by the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen (AFULE) for a log of claims.
If an engineman were to 'follow the book' and pick up every little issue or defect on the one hand, and work to procedures that were specified in detail in proceeding out of the depot and attaching to a train on the other hand, the time delays would mean that it would be impossible to run any train on time. It always proved to be a very effective tactic.
M V Tronson says there are many similar situations that confront Christian people at every step in life. The Apostle Paul, when confronting an unruly situation within a congregation, preaches that women should cover their head in worship and not speak in church. He was dealing with a very specific situation.
Yet, in realistic modern situation, women are found to be effective in teaching, giving prophecy, proficient in leadership roles and invaluable as mainstays within Congregational life.
Circumspection therefore becomes imperative, M V Tronson says. In whatever is planned or undertaken, whenever we read the Bible, in whatever we say, it becomes necessary to attend to the matter with common sense and an eye on the broader picture.