Army basic training has a component of map reading called land navigation – we learned the fundamentals of reading different kinds of maps, how to measure distances, and other necessary tools to be able to get from one place to the other without (hopefully!) getting lost. An essential companion to the map is, of course, the compass. If you know, for example, that you have to make it to Canada from anywhere in the USA you know that you have to go North. All you really need is the compass. The compass has the essential task of showing you which way the map needs to be oriented. If you can’t orient the map correctly, you can embark on the most amazing journey – in the wrong direction!
I like to compare my faith to a compass. My walk with God, as a Christian, is by no means a straight line upward, it’s a meandering journey of figuring out how to react and live. Even though I have a lot to learn, I can always picture my walk as having a good direction. I do my best to stay in the Word, and learning about Jesus and how He lived. This example is a constant “true north” that I can look to when I need to fix something in my life.
My favorite part of this approach to growing my faith is that I don’t feel like I’m looking at a map with thousands of routes to take and no way to orient myself. I try my best to keep things simple. At every juncture and decision, I just find true North and follow it. If I mess up and veer off course, I don’t have to beat myself up about it, I just correct direction next time. I believe that it truly is that simple. It’s not always easy. It takes courage, stamina, and above all, consistency.
Here’s an example from my life. My personal walk with God really started to grow once I found a driving motivator – my wife. Once she said “I do” I quickly realized that I was not where I needed to be in my faith. I started pursuing growth so that I could be the husband and father that my family deserved. To do this, I took baby step one: reading the Bible daily. 15 minutes a day. Then once that wasn’t enough I moved up to reading the Bible cover-to-cover in a year. Then I added a Bible study because half the things I was reading didn’t make sense and I had questions. Do you see the progression? That happened organically! I never made a big decision to “become a scholar and know everything”. That would have ended up in me burning out and me giving up after two weeks.
Here’s the challenge: pick up the Bible and read it for five minutes a day for twenty days starting in the book of Proverbs. It’s not scary. I promise! The time commitment can’t possibly be an excuse at only five minutes! Here’s the kicker to the challenge – when you come across a concept you don’t understand I want you to try to figure it out. You can Google it, or even better find someone who can answer your questions. If you reach the end of the twenty days and you haven’t learned a few things from those chapters, then quit! I’m confident in saying that because you are bound to learn something! I’ll let the Word speak for itself, don’t take my word for it. Just go try.
Let’s End Average together.