Maps, Compasses, and Treasure Hunts

I few weeks ago I went to a corn maze with a group from church. For those that don’t know, a corn maze is exactly like it sounds. Someone goes to a big corn field and designs it into a maze. They give you a map and you try to find certain markers while you try to find your way out.

I noticed that a lot of people got lost easily in the maze. As I looked, I saw why they would get lost. They never used the map. That meant one of two things. They thought they could do it without the map or they didn’t know how to read the map.

Either way, I happened to very good with maps. I actually went through the maze twice with the map. It got me to thinking how that applies to our spiritual lives, as well. Are we using the maps that God gave us?

THE BIBLE IS A ROADMAP

I remember hearing that the Bible was a roadmap a long time ago. I think it was somewhere like youth camp. It is a good analogy, too. I mean, it did stick with me from the time I heard it as a kid.

It is true, though. The Bible can act as our map. It shows us all the places we can go and how to get there, but for some reason people can’t seem to use it regularly. Again, that is for one of two reasons. Either they don’t know how to read the Bible or they don’t want to.

Lets face it, there are things in out lives we would rather be doing than reading our Bibles. We’d rather watch a movie, spend time with friends, or get extra work done. None of those things are bad, but when we leave out reading scripture on a daily basis we are walking the maze without a map. You end up lost in the maze because you didn’t take five minutes to look at the map God gave you.

The other situation is when we find the Bible to hard to read. Lets face it, Deuteronomy is not exactly a fun reading experience. But the more we read the Bible the easier it is to understand. A person that is good with maps was not good with maps right away. It took time using them before they got good. The same goes for Bible reading. Practice makes perfect, but we must practice.

Remember that the Bible is pure truth and John 8:32 says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

PRAYER AS A COMPASS

Things don’t look the same in real life as they do on a map. When I was navigating the corn maze I had to stop and look around many times. I had to take in where I was to verify I was going in the right direction. This is easy if there are land marks along the way, but not everyone gets that benefit.

Even with maps, old ships needed compasses to know that they were heading in the right direction. The open sea always looks like the open sea

. So, they had to rely on the stars, the sun, and a compass to direct them. Even then they may have been slightly off course, but generally they were headed the right way.

The same goes for our lives. It is wonderful we have the Bible to guide us with certain truth, but sometimes things happen in our lives and the Bible doesn’t seem to have the direct answer. It is like we are the ship in open waters. That is why we are called to pray. Prayer can be the compass for our lives.

Sometimes we don’t know which way to travel, but God can always point us north. He does that through talking with us. We need to be asking for his will in our lives and thanking him on a daily basis. We need to tell him our thoughts, needs, and desires so he can fill our spirits with direction.

And even though we may be a little off course once and awhile, we will still be headed the right way because we are consulting the Lord. Without prayer we would have no compass and be lost at sea.

TREASURE HUNT

Now that I’ve written all of this some of you are thinking, “But what good are maps and compasses without a destination?”. I believe that if you are committing to prayer and scripture reading your destination will come to heart soon enough, but if you are still wondering just ask yourself, “What you you want?”.

We are telling stories with our lives. I’ve written about this idea before and know of several Christians authors whom wrote about it before me. Every good character in a story wants something and will go through great hardship to get it. They’ll risk their lives for things that are essentially meaningless, but the journey makes the story. For example, look at Indiana Jones. It is never about getting the artifact itself, but rather the journey to get the artifact. It is the satisfaction of the treasure hunt.

The same goes for our lives. Just pick something to go after and take your map and compass with you. Anything that is covered with scripture reading and prayer will be blessed by God. It won’t be about achieving that goal or getting that one thing, but it’ll be about growing with Christ while you are trying to get there.

Maybe your treasure is graduating school. Maybe it is raising a family. Maybe it is finding a job. Maybe it is falling in love. No matter what it is you want you’ll need a map along the way or you’ll get lost. You’ll need a compass to verify you’re headed in the right direction.

So, in our lives we should be journeymen with our maps and compasses in hand. That means talking with God, reading his word, and stepping out in faith everyday. 

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