I stayed out too late. The sun had set almost 2 hours before and the night was totally black but for a few stars seen through a haze overhead. It didn’t take me long to realize I would get lost quickly as I set out to find the truck less than a half mile away at the edge of a remote lake. The moon was not in sight. My headlamp was only bright enough to see a few steps ahead. I wondered if my left leg took a longer stride than my right as I kept turning to the right quite quickly.
I would never live down the future stories of me going in circles on a lake in the dark as three teenagers followed behind me. Getting lost in the deep woods is almost acceptable but going in circles in the middle of a lake??
It would have helped if the crappies were not biting so good. The kids were still talking about the foot long plus crappies we had found just as we were packing up to go. I found my little headlamp as the orange sun slipped over the edge. The fish house was packed up but we stayed another couple hours pulling up monster crappies in the dim light off my cap. I took the fish off the hook and put on new minnows. They just fished. The teens were now admitting to being cold and looked forward to feeling fingers and toes again.
A break in the haze found us looking at some stars which hang on the western horizon. I picked the one that would guide us to where the truck was parked and one of the kids said we were like the “Wise men” looking for Jesus as we kept our eyes on “Our” star. The woods came into view and we found the small logging road with our black truck blending in with the night. I pretended to lose my keys which wasn’t funny to the kids, then we headed home.
I remember one of my high school buddies (Yes it was long ago!) drew an arrow on his finger pointing forward. He claimed it might as well be his compass because he never got lost. He claimed he had a perfect inner compass that always told him which direction was north! His boasting was bested and he was busted(sorry, that’s the short version). I have yet to meet a person who does not lose their direction quickly in a heavy snowstorm, heavy fog, or a black night without something to give direction (I’ll take my compass, a light, some matches and a few cookies thank you).
Is not this true of so many areas of life? It’s why we have teachers on every subject, coaches for every team(that wants to win), lights on all the cars (Hmm…), and bright lanterns if you are going out on the lake at night. Without guidance we tend to get lost, run off the road, and go in circles (that would be me). Add time and we do not become who we could have and wind up only going where we have been. The suspicion that we were created for more seems to erode with time and our dream batteries run low.
We need a star. A fixed point that doesn’t change. A bigger light than little ole me to get beyond ourselves to who we were created to become. The saying “There is a God and it isn’t me” is a truth hurdle that many won’t jump. The arrow on their finger doesn’t point that way.They don’t believe in solar charged dream batteries that recharge in the Son.
I am constantly reminded of this at Christmas. Our tree points up. Many put a star on top. I’m not afraid to admit I need a compass to get to God. It’s the message of Christmas. The gift was a person in the form of a baby. How fitting. Finger arrows sure don’t point that way. I am in awe of “The” star, “The” light so much bigger than me, “The” compass to a relationship with my creator, “The” gift I acknowledge and accept. And He came in baby form…Good one God!