Following the right directions

(Photo: Julia Kral)

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I love urban exploration. The idea of entering a space that has been abandoned and rejected is both intriguing and thrilling. One of my dreams is to visit the abandoned city of Pripyat—unoccupied due to the high radiation levels since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

Having lived in Adelaide for 22 years and visited every conceivable place on offer, finding a hidden nook or cranny brings a newfound sense of wonder. My girlfriend Julia often scoffs at my love of the untouched and forgotten, saying I love “grungy” places.

The urban exploration scene in Adelaide is huge—hidden tunnels from the 1800s have been found under the city; quarries left alone for 30 years and even World War II era bomb shelters.

Julia and I were set on finding a short abandoned train tunnel in the Adelaide Hills—available to public access. The only problem was locating it. Instagram posts gave us an idea of what it looked like, but no other specifics. Internet searches bore no answers apart from vague directions scattered across various websites. Using these to pinpoint an alleged location on Google Maps, we were able to triangulate a tunnel site in close proximity to where our elusive tunnel was meant to exist.

Further supporting our theory that we were looking in the right place, the train line from the tunnel extended past a confirmed abandoned train station. Everything made sense.

Arriving at the train line and following it towards the tunnel, a number of warning signs triggered in my mind. These train tracks are too new, I thought to myself. Rather than having the rusted and derelict look I expected, they looked maintained. I brushed it off; the internet claimed it is used occasionally for historic train rides.

As we rounded the final corner, we discovered that we had in fact arrived at the wrong destination. There was a train tunnel there; a huge stone structure that extended at least twice the length of the one in the photos. But it wasn’t the one we were looking for. With no evidence of imminent danger, we took a few photos inside the 100m long tunnel before starting to head back.

Less than two minutes later, walking along the side of the train track, we started hearing a low rumble. “Sounds like a plane,” Julia said.

Moments later, a large passenger train zoomed past us, pulling more than 10 carriages. I was stunned—had we still been inside the tunnel when the train came through, we may have become one with the track.

How often does this happen in our spiritual lives? We try to take control of our situation, and sometimes end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. In our quest to find the train tunnel, we had put together various pieces of information—some confirmed and others assumptions. The result was we ended up in a place where we shouldn’t have been.

Fortunately, the Bible reminds us that it has the right coordinates for the direction of our spiritual lives.

“The Lord is faithful,” says Paul (2 Thessalonians 3:3). “ . . . He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”

Our relationship with God isn’t based on blind faith—His text, the Bible, explains itself within its covers. It tells us that “All scripture is God-breathed . . . so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16,17). It’s a great promise, that the divine inspiration behind the great Book is pointing us in the right direction and His great hope is that we get there by trusting Him.

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