ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS.
When you are travelling in the Outback have you ever noticed that it doesn’t matter whether you are filling up with fuel, buying some supplies at the local General Store, or even just looking at some of the local sights that there are two basic questions that are invariably asked of you: namely – “where’r y from?”, and “where’r y headin”?
Good questions really, because they are great discussion starters. Someone that you have never met before, and who may not get to meet many people very often will naturally be interested in your trip and those two questions are great openers for a conversation. And conversations like this are great things. Many times such a conversation has led to a local telling me where to find a particular place of interest or how to find unusual formations which would have remained unknown if I had not bothered to answer the pleasant and well intentioned questions put to me.
This was highlighted many years ago when we were on the Cape York trip we were able to see many places which would have totally by-passed by the normal traveller but which became some of the most unforgettable highlights of the whole trip.
But such questions as the two above are not new. They have been asked of travellers for hundreds of years. In his book “The Pilgrim’s Progress” author John Bunyan gets several of his characters to ask these same two questions of the principal character of the book (whose name is ‘Christian’). He replies with all honesty that he is on a journey from a place called ‘the City of Destruction’ to another place called
‘The Celestial City’. (No 4WD for him, it was ‘shanks’ pony all the way!) It was a tough journey and not for the faint-hearted – indeed he met a man called ‘Mr. Faint-Heart’ who had turned around and was running back to old home as fast as he could make it.
But, back to the story. Christian used the questions as an opportunity to share something about the reality of the place that he was going to and the truthfulness of the King of the place who had invited him to go there. Sometimes, such as in the incident at the town of ‘Vanity Fair’, the answers he gave caused him much strife and pain from people who only wanted to mock
him and cause trouble. At other times of course his answers caused people to really think about their own life destination and what would happen to them if they neglected to take the journey that Christian was on.
Some years ago, one Christian group put out a little lapel badge which took the form of two interlocked question marks. The idea was that people would ask the wearer what the question marks were for? The reply was a simple one: “Ah, that is for the greatest question ever asked” would be the reply. “And what question is that?” would be the next question. This: “What do you think of Christ?” would be the next reply, and this would often generate a conversation that might go on for hours, and not infrequently the questioner came to a living faith in Jesus.
Remember our two questions at the beginning of this article? In a sense that is what TRAX is all about – helping people to enjoy going from one place to another – interesting places, different places, unusual places – but always places that are worth going to.
Which brings me to the real point of this article. Let me ask you in good old Oz words: “where’r y’ goin t?” Now by that I don’t mean, “where might you be going for your next holidays, or the destination of your next 4WD safari; because in reality they are only just stops along the way of the greater journey – the trip of your life.
Now at about this point some people might want to get a little coy or shy and not want to face the great issue. But sooner or later it’s a destination that has to be faced and it’s a trip that, like it or not, you and I will have to take. For some the thought of making preparations for this trip is put completely out of their minds with the excuse, ‘I’ll make preparations another day, not now.’ But that’s so crazy! No one in their right minds would attempt a trip down the Canning Stock Route for instance without first making a lot of preparations and doing a lot of planning. It’s a big long, a tough trip. You don’t just hop into the 4WD on the morning of your departure and say to the family “let’s go”!
In the same way it would be just as foolish to make the greatest trip of all without first taking stock and doing some careful planning. Jesus said there are just two ways to go – a broad and easy way that ends in destruction – and a harder road that few actually are prepared to find and travel on. Now that is the real issue. Where is your life taking you? “Where ‘r y’ goin’ t’?”
The interesting thing is that despite all the gloom and pessimism that abounds today we can know and we can be sure. When we did our great ‘Canning Caper’ trip in 1994 with TRAX we did careful research for months beforehand, so that when we finally hit the Canning it was almost like driving over track that we already were familiar with. It held no real problems or fears, and our pre trip research had paid real dividends in the ultimate enjoyment of the trip.
We can both know and be sure of our ultimate destination. That’s the real message of the Gospel in the New Testament. Jesus said that He was both ‘the Way’ and ‘the Truth’ (about the way) and ‘the Life’, or the means of both reaching the end of our journey, and staying there. Jesus’ friend John had decided to take Jesus’ advice and he proved the words and instructions to be true and totally accurate. In his letter to his Christian friends he said “I have written this to you who believe in the name of Jesus in order that you may know that you have right now eternal life.
“Where ‘r y’ goin?” Was the question; and the answer can be a solid “I know for sure that I am going to be with Jesus in Heaven, and I also know the way to get there”……
Too good to be true? No way! It’s the easiest thing of all to be sure about. Want to know more? Then why not give one of our TRAX committee a call and have yarn…. We have a great road map to the greatest destination that we would like to give you – free for the asking.
See you on the TRAX,
Neil Flower – TRAXION Editor