Sense of Direction

    Once upon a time most people knew which direction they were going, most of the time. Especially people who spent a lot of time on the water. Sailors and fishermen always knew which way North was. The early explorers all had a very highly developed sense of direction. If they didn’t, they never would have made it home. Nobody would have ever heard from them again. So those people must have known where they were going. 

    They also knew how to get back from wherever it was they went. They knew how to navigate.


    This ability became known as: A SENSE of DIRECTION.

   a person's ability to know without explicit guidance the direction in which they are or should be moving.

 Despite what some people think or have been told this is not something you are born with. It is a learned ability and can be learned by anyone, with practice.

    Thanks to things like gps and google maps we have a lot of people going through the world who technically have no idea where they are except by their phone. Which means they are lost most of the time. If you don’t know where you are and where you are going, you are lost. 

    I have never liked the saying “Not all who wander are lost.”

 Yes, they are.

    At best they are killing time till they figure out where to go. If this is the case, wandering is the worst possible thing they could do. Sit still till you know where to go You might just be going even more towards the wrong direction.

    Sailors had a better saying about it “A ship with no port has no favorable wind.” If you don’t know where you are going, or where you want to be, then you will never find a way there. Without a good sense of direction even if you know where you want to go means you might not make it there.

    So, what do you do when the phone is unavailable, and you don’t have a compass?

   Get your bearings from things that don’t change.

   One of the easiest ways to find north is by the sun. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Stand with your shoulders parallel to the sunrise. Point your right hand at the sun. Point your left hand straight out. That’s North.

    If the sun is going down, switch hands. Point left at the sun and right straight out. You are still pointing north.

    Now all you have to do is know which direction your location is in. To get back, do the same thing in reverse.

    "Low tech solutions can be mind blowing in our smart everything world."

    People actually lived for thousands of years without GPS. They made their way around the world and back again. People can be amazing if they are taught right.

      So, what do I do if it’s dark?

   There is one star in the sky that does not change its position. EVER. Only one star has a fixed position in the sky. The North Star. 

     The easiest way to find the North star is to find the big Dipper. The two stars at the front of it will always point towards the North star. The front of it being the part of the cup with the handle being the back. Make a line from those two and you will have found the north star. 

     If you spend time outdoors or on the water, you should start to familiarize yourself with the stars and constellations. Especially if you go camping. Once you get away from the light pollution of the cities the night sky will get increasingly beautiful and amazing. The stars get brighter as you get farther away from man-made light sources. You won’t be able to not look up at it. Then you will start to notice the constellations or groups of stars that have names. The easiest ones are the big dipper and Orion. 

     Orion changes its location depending on the time of year but the easiest way to find it is to locate 3 stars in a line. It has a slight bend in the middle but it's mostly straight. that's Orion's belt. The rest is easier to show than tell but Orion is a hunter and it's supposed to look like one, with a little imagination. Constellations are usually stick figure pictures.

    For traveling, on land anyway, it’s usually best to stick with the sun and move during daylight. It’s nice to know the stars for the “probably won't but could happens”, though. At least until you just know which direction is north.

   A sense of direction can be learned, but only if you use it and practice at it.

    Figure out which direction your house is facing and whenever you leave try to keep up with the direction you are heading, and which direction home would be in a straight line. This will also help you get used to making a mental map of the area you are in and your location in it. After a while it will be second nature. Then you will have some sense of direction.

     Another way to train your sense of direction is to blindfold yourself and spin around till you get dizzy. Wait for the spinning to stop and try and point north. Take off the blindfold and see how close you are. When you can feel it instead of seeing it, you shouldn’t have any problems navigating the world anymore. At least not the physical part but there's another sense of direction we need to work on.

  Our spiritual sense of direction: Am I on the right path in life?


   This one is more important than the physical one because it determines our final destination as well as the course we take in life. 

     Luckily this one is a learned ability too, not one we either have or don’t,

   It takes a lot of practice though. Constant practice and even more checking.

     There aren’t any stars to learn to determine our direction for this one, but we do have the scriptures. If your decisions line up with the scriptures, then you should be on the right path. All of the scripture though. You can’t just look for one that allows you to do whatever it is you are wanting to do. You have to look at them all and see what your decision is going by. It takes time to do this by ourselves.

    Are you on the path God wants you to be on or justifying what you want to do by the scriptures?

    Yeah, it’s a lot harder to tell with this path, it also has more serious consequences. We all make mistakes, but we have to get back on track. The sooner the better.

  Inevitably in life there are going to be people who will try and mislead you. Not everybody wants to see you succeed. They want to confuse you and direct you on a path you don’t belong on. That is why we have to learn how to tell if we are on the right path or not.

     We don’t need to understand the ones trying to mislead us, just the path God has for us and how to stay on it.

    It takes a lot more practice for this to be second nature, but eventually it will be. But we will still make mistakes. We will never be perfect.

    You have to spend a lot of time reading the bible. You have to spend a lot of time listening to God. You have to spend a lot of time with others who are on the right path and are further along than you. You have to spend time with others who are learning like you. We grow together.

     There are a lot of us in the light and trying to stay on God’s path for us. We are family by Him and we should be here for each other, like he showed us. We just all weren’t brought up in families like this. That’s OK too, God calls us according to his plan by our gifts for his glory not ours. He doesn’t care where we have been, just where we are and where we are going. He wants us to have a good sense of spiritual direction. GPS and Google maps isn’t going to help with that. He gave us what we needed for it. The scripture, the bible, the truth, a family, and purpose. 

     It’s up to us to arrive where he wants us to be. It will take a lot of faith and a very good sense of direction.

   In short, it takes a lot of time developing a spiritual sense of direction. Not all of it will be positive either. This is kind of where God teaches us to trust in Him and not the world. I wish there was an easy way, maybe it is for you, or maybe it will be for you, all I know is how it has been for me. 

    If you think you are not good enough for God's calling for you, you need to read up on the first apostles. Point of fact, there were no Christians before Jesus came. Not one of them had been raised as Christians, and most weren’t even upstanding pillars of the Jewish laws or community. One even persecuted Christians for Rome. None of us are perfect. We are all works in progress in some way.

   I am grateful that I am on the right path, but I sure do wish it was easier. One day it will be, one day it will be a better world, even if that world is in Heaven. One day I will get there. I will fish with Jesus one day, in God’s private little stream. That’s how I like to think about it anyway, I’m not that extravagant.

     I don’t need a lot. God knows. He has always known. 

Live by Faith. Love the outdoors. Life is out Here!

written by Benjamin Evans