Way back in time, before cell phones and GPS, even before maps, before history started, people just wandered around.

Instead of just being lost they were called nomadic but were still just lost.

They went from one place to another, always wandering, always lost.

 Which is fine as long as you don’t actually want to get to a specific place. But how do we find that place that had real good food and water and the air was nice and mild, again. So, they figured out that by remembering things they saw they could find their way back. It was a system based on landmarks.

    "Oh, I recognize that mountain," or valley, or even a distinguished looking tree. Eventually this would become what we know as maps. A picture of an area complete with the landmarks in the area and are usually drawn from above.

  It still wasn’t a great system and I’m sure a lot of people wandered off and were never heard from again. They were still basically just lost.

   And what about that big body of water, what's on the other side, what if there isn’t another side how do we get back? But people being people, they leapt before they looked and went anyway. Some made it, some didn’t. 

  Then there was a breakthrough. People found the compass. It always pointed North. Now they could get to where they needed to be without getting lost. Now there was a way. They were no longer just lost, now they had a direction and path to follow. They had the map and the compass. They could “NAVIGATE” throughout the world.




  • an instrument containing a magnetized pointer which shows the direction of magnetic north and bearings from it:


    That’s the definition of a compass but what it does is a little bit more important than just telling you magnetic north. It keeps you from getting lost. If you know where you are and where you need to go a compass will help you find it. They’ve been used for centuries by sailors, explorers, frontiersmen, trappers, hikers, campers, and anyone else wanting a bearing.

    Most people now rely on their GPS and phones to know where they are. A lot of people now are directionally challenged because of it too. In case they haven't figured this out yet, they are technically lost at all times.

"If you can’t find your direction or can’t find the way to where you want to be, you are lost. "

   They need to get back to some basics and learn how to find their way. Put down their phone, get a map, get a compass, and make a path to where they want to be. With a little practice and study, they’ll be back on the path in no time.

  Points North, Always

   The first thing you need to understand about using a compass is that it always points magnetic North. It doesn’t matter how you hold it or what direction you face, it will point magnetic North. Spin it, drop it, roll it, it will still point north.

    You can figure out every other direction from that. These things are set and never change. North will always be North, and South will always be South. It never changes. All you need to find your way home is know what direction you were headed when you got lost and backtrack.

    That’s lesson number one and the most important one. A compas will always point North. This will always be true. By looking at the map and looking at the compass you can tell which direction you need to go and the path to follow to get there.

Keep Your Bearing

   To get where you need to go, you need to stay on course. You need a plan. You can't get somewhere in life or the outdoors without a plan.

"A ship with no port has no favorable wind."

That’s an old maritime saying that means if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up in all the wrong places.

    Since most of us are just visiting the outdoors, we want to get back, at some point we will want to go home. This is where that map comes in handy.

    Since the compass always points North, we know what direction we are headed. We can look at a map and tell where we are, and also how to get home again.

    People being people we tend to deviate from time to time. It happens, we get curious about what's over there, oh, look, let’s go see that. And off we go. It’s usually OK as long as it's still in line with the path we want to be on. There is a little leeway in the direct path as long as we keep our bearings.

     The main thing is just not to panic. Fear is always our enemy and never our friend. Keep your map handy and check your compass often to make sure you're still on the path and you'll be fine. 

Tool for not Getting Lost

   What happens if I do get lost? Well, you stay calm, you look at your map for any landmarks, and then look at your compass and make a path back to where you need to be.

   Hopefully you brought along things for the “probably won’t but could happens.” Sometimes despite our best intentions we end up getting lost. The world can be hard to navigate, especially when you're just starting out. This is why we learn things in steps.

    Take short trips in the beginning. Instead of jumping into hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, go for a day hike. Plan your route ahead of time. Try to stick to it. When you get good at that, move on to the next level.

   Make a path for getting there but don’t plan one for the way back. Purposely go a different way. Try and navigate while you're on the trail. Get used to having to change your path as needed till you build up your confidence. Once you truly understand the map and compass you can find your way from anywhere. 

God’s map and compass

    There is another map and compass we have, the scripture and emotions. These are the tools that God gave us to navigate through life. They help us not get lost. The scripture is always true, a compass always points North.

   The scripture is our compass for living a good Christian life. We can tell where we need to be by looking at where we are. If the way we are living isn’t looking like the life we should be living by the scripture, we might have deviated. It’s time to correct our path and get back on course.

    "We don’t exactly have a map of life, but we do have landmarks that tell us when we have gotten off course."

Stress, anxiety, fear are all landmarks that we have strayed. These are telling us to have more faith, to let God handle things. He can do a lot more than we can.

    When we try to take control from him and do it ourselves is usually when the negative emotions start. At the first sign of them is when we need to get our path back on track. 

    Get out our compass and get a bearing. Pray often.

   Just like the other map and compass you have to learn to use God’s scripture too. It takes practice. It takes a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of faith and determination.

   These tools only work if you use them. You should be using them daily. These are our life navigation tools. Life isn’t just a hiking trip on the weekend, this is your LIFE! The destinations are still fixed, I’m only trying to get to one of them. I hope everybody is on that same path, check your map and compass to make sure you are.


Enjoy the outdoors, Life is out Here!

Live by faith