Losing Our Bearings

By Head of School, Anthony Buttacy

When I was a teenager, I had the opportunity to attend a Royal Ranger leadership camp in upstate New York. It was a fun, but intense, four day camp where we learned all different outdoor, leadership, and teamwork skills. On the final afternoon of the camp, we had to do a five mile hike to a new campsite. Not overly difficult you might say, but it wasn’t a straight trail hike. We were giving a list of bearings to set our compasses to and distances to travel. If we followed the directions correctly, we would arrive at our new campsite. If we didn’t, we would wind up somewhat lost. (As a note, there were leaders out along the way to ensure we didn’t get lost. We didn’t know that though until after) 

If you have ever done hiking like this, it can be a lot of fun and allow you to see things that are not on a regular park trail. You also get to camp in some beautiful locations that you can’t get to normally. The first key is making sure your compass is set to the correct bearing. If you are off by just one degree, you will wind up in the wrong spot. Now, if it is a short distance, you can recover pretty quickly, but the further you go, the further off course you are. If you go too far off course, you wind up completely lost.

Our lives are a lot like this. When our compasses are set to what God wants us to be set on, we get to where we are going. The journey may be difficult at times, but we wind up exactly where we are supposed to be. All too often though we wind up off course and not realizing it. Most of the time, the thing that is moving us off course is not something bad; it makes us busy or moves us in a direction God doesn’t want us to go. It’s up to us to recognize that we are off course and take steps to get back to where we need to be. Make it a point to not only spend time with the Lord each day, but also intentionally schedule time to reflect on where you are and where God wants you to go. If you find that you are off course, the good news is that you are not lost forever. We serve a loving God that wants to help you get back to where you need to be – all you need to do is ask.

“For he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand that is right and just and fair – every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” Proverbs 2:8-10


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