Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Getting lost

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up” -Eccl. 4:9-10

It’s so easy to get lost. In this age of the GPS, MapQuest and smart phone map app’s, it’s still possible to find ourselves wandering in the wrong directions. Even our Garmin gets confused sometimes. In the midst of the confusion, the best thing we can do is unplug the electronics and ask someone for directions. Sometimes the best thing we can teach our kids is to stop and ask for help when they get lost.

This past week, I attended an excellent conference in Nashville sponsored by the American Association of Christian Counselors. The conference was at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, a great place to stay. But it is HUGE! It’s probably my tenth time to stay there, but every time I go I get lost. Though I have maps and brochures with the floor plan, I find myself wandering in the wrong direction.

The Opryland is enormous! It’s 3,000 rooms, a huge convention center and four major covered wings to the hotel. In truth, it’s really four hotels joined together. Several times, with map in hand, I’ve taken off to explore parts of the hotel only to find myself at the wrong end.

By far, the best way to maneuver through the maze of buildings is by stopping and asking directions. The Gaylord Staff is more than capable and available to guide anyone asking to the appropriate part of the hotel. But I’m always hesitant to stop and ask directions. I’m certain that, though I got lost last time, I’ll master it this time.

Pride always views it the same way. I, yes, a capital I, usually think I can do most anything better on my own. Our sin nature always thinks it can do the best job on anything by itself. We love to fly solo. The problem is, the plane we’re all flying is a two-seater jet (cool). Yes, we’re in the front seat flying the plane, but guess who’s missing in the seat behind us? That seat is reserved for the navigator.

So, most of us are content to fly the plane by ourselves and leave that seat vacant. After all, it’s easier to do it all by ourselves. There are no problems with communication, I save weight and fuel by not having another person involved and I don't have to bother someone else with directions.

But without a navigator, we tend to get lost. We all need a navigator. We can't be both the pilot and the navigator and expect to find our way. The military figured that out a long time ago. Sure, people fly planes by themselves, but travel is easier when responsibilities are shared.

God gives us directions through prayer and the Bible, but usually He has appointed navigators to help us through the maze of our life. When we get lost, confused or overwhelmed, they are there to guide us, comfort us and lead us through difficulties. They provide objective encouragement for us and help show us the best routes to our goals.

We need to teach our kids that it’s okay to have navigators in our lives. We need to remind that those who journey best through this life are those who journey with others.

After all, people helping people is always better than a “recalculating” Garmin.

By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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