The Reference Point
March 1, 2006 - The Pennsylvania State Highway Department once set out to build a bridge, working from both sides. When the two crews of workers reached the middle of the waterway, they were 13 feet to one side of each other.
by Ruth Bell Graham
Alfred Steinberg, writing some time ago in the Saturday Evening Post, went on to explain that each crew had used its own reference point.
A small bronze disk at Meades Ranch Triangulation Station in Osborne, Kan., marks the place where the 39th parallel crosses the 98th meridian. The National Geodetic Survey, a federal agency whose business it is to locate the exact position of every point in the United States, used this scientifically recognized reference point until the advent of an even more precise reference system, the global positioning system (GPS). All ocean liners and commercial planes rely on the Survey. The government can build no dams nor can it shoot off a missile without this agency to tell it exact locations—to the very inch.
The reference point (or GPS) for the Christian is the Bible. All values, judgments and attitudes must be gauged in relationship to this reference point.
"Location by approximation," Steinberg's article goes on to say, "can be costly and dangerous."