The Accuracy of Our End-Times Bearings
Have you ever lost your bearings? You know what I mean in the physical sense, I am sure. We all do from time to time throughout our lives. We are sensitive creatures as God has made us this way. Very complex, we are!
Sometimes, I think we are just not paying attention. The modern phrase is “being in the moment” or “mindfulness.” We are momentarily absent as we are distracted by the many things in life. We may lose our bearings a little, forgetting where we parked the car at Dizzy World or where we sat our cellphone down— yet again.
But, I am talking about something even bigger here.
Usually, before an accident occurs, conditions surrounding us change suddenly and can affect us greatly – so great sometimes, we can lose our bearings completely.
It’s like being lost in a dense forest, and all you have is your compass, and you are aware you need to be headed due north. You have to stop, stand still and get a reading. This assessment may take a moment, sometimes even longer. It’s a terrible thing to lose your bearings and continue on in senselessness, headed in the wrong direction.
I know this for a fact.
I got lost one day as a little girl. I was between seven and eight years old. I knew better than to venture that far away from my home, but I was curious. I pressed my boundaries and proceeded into unfamiliar areas in the backwoods near my home. Our backyard gave way at the top of the hill and sloped dramatically downward toward the Chattahoochee River, about 100 yards to the riverbank. Our property backed up to the Chattahoochee River forest area, as we lived Northwest of Atlanta. I thought I would be okay as long as I could hear the river, smell the river and catch glimpses of it. It pointed the way home. I did not own a compass, so I decided on that day the river would be my compass.
I reminded myself that the path back up the hill to our property was really pretty with lots of pine trees arching around the red clay path leading up the hill. I took a mental picture of my exit site as I ventured down to the riverside, just to make sure I could find my way back uphill to my house.
I found some interesting rocks to collect and loaded the small ones in my pockets. I also found a skull on that sunny afternoon strolling the river. This was not that unusual, as this was the former home of the Cherokee Indians. So… I let it be.
I walked for a while in a childlike daze of wonderment, exploring along the banks of the river. I lost track of the hour just being a little girl who went hiking along the water.
I could tell by the sun that it was time to head back. I was always expected by my Mother at suppertime. To my complete surprise, I was at least a mile up river from where I needed to be. That was not good, not good at all!
I had to stop and think, and evaluate my situation. I needed to find a shortcut home and get there before my Mom returned. I was going to be in so much trouble!
I hiked uphill to a path similar to the one I came down. Not my house. I repeated this several times. It’s amazing how everything in Georgia looks exactly the same this time of day. Everyone had a red clay path surrounded with tall pine trees!
I was exhausted at that point, but I was frantic to get back home; and so I pressed on. It was becoming late in the afternoon, and the thought of pitch-black darkness was a motivator to me. An unexpected chill was starting to settle in, and I was not dressed for the drop in temperature. I was beginning to see my breath expel in front of me as I was hiking along, as the sun was issuing its end-of-day warning. Typically, I love this golden time of day—but, I continued to hurry along.
I finally sighted the old mill. I saw it peaking at me through the tall pines. It is a rundown, faded, red brick mill that has been closed since the Civil War, but nevertheless a large landmark— only a half mile from my house. It is situated on Vickery Creek which flowed into the river, so I knew I was close to home. I had my bearings now!
I made it back for suppertime in what I am sure was a record sprint. My Mom did notice I had red Georgia clay all over my sneakers. I told her I was out walking all afternoon. This was not unusual for me with spare time on my hands. But, I knew what I had just done was extremely dangerous.
And, I never did that again.
God places those bearings within us both physically and spiritually. He put them within us for a reason. When I think of what could have happened to me as I was wandering by the river and dense woodlands, young and alone—I shudder!
I have received gladly those cautionary bearings because they have served me well. They are stabilizers. They come from God to keep me attuned to Him. I must always be mindful of God and His presence in my surroundings, both physically and spiritually.
We have spiritual bearings, and they are just as important. I check my spiritual bearings every day, especially when things are looking unfamiliar, which can give way to a loss of bearings. When this happens, I stop myself and assess where I am, where I am going, and what the truth is.
I must say, in these end times, it is a continuous assessment as I see things of this world becoming so unfamiliar and unwelcoming. This world has become strange to the Christian and assaults the truth of God daily.
I share this story as an encouragement to every Christian. We are living in a world that is rapidly resembling a dark, unfamiliar forest in these days prior to the rapture. It seems to me to be getting darker and stranger by the day.
Check your spiritual bearings daily against God’s word and His promises in these end times, dear readers. For they are like the Chattahoochee River that helped me gauge my bearings and led me home that day—they never, ever change.