September 30, 2014

Pastoral Nuggets: Drifting

Brother AaronAndy Stanley said, “In life everybody winds up somewhere – a few people wind-up somewhere on purpose!” As Christians, we need to get our heads and hearts wrapped around this. The truth is that all of us will eventually wind up somewhere.

The question is how many of us will wind up somewhere on purpose versus winding up wherever the winds of life blow us?

We all have great intentions, lofty goals, and great plans.  However, it is not how we start that counts; it is how we finish. Drifting is one of the greatest enemies each of us faces as we attempt to become all Jesus wants us to be. You see, once we implement our intentions, goals, and plans – our natural tendency is to drift.

Did you know that if a jet takes off from New York headed toward Tel Aviv, Israel and it drifts off course just one-degree north for the duration of the flight, it will end up in Moscow, Russia?  That’s 1,644 miles off course – all because it drifted one degree off course!

Before any airplane ever takes off for its destination, somebody has plotted the course they will take and has filed a flight plan. But knowing your destination and having a plan to get there is not good enough.

Why? Because there is a little thing called the Jet Stream that, once the plane is airborne, is continually pushing against it attempting to push it off course.

Either the navigator or the GPS system in the plane must be continually asking the question, “Where on planet earth am I right now?”  Then the answer must be compared with the flight plan and the necessary course adjustments must be made.

Spiritually speaking, if we fail to ask the tough question, “Where am I right now?” and compare it to our plan and make the necessary course corrections, drifting is inevitable. And we do not drift our way into becoming all Jesus wants us to be. We go there on purpose!

If you have ever been on a cruise ship, rest assured that the navigator is doing the same thing that the navigator on the airplane does.

Why? Because there is a little thing called the Gulf Stream that, once the ship is in the Gulf of Mexico, is constantly pushing against the ship attempting to push it off course. And again, the question, “Where am I on planet earth right now?” is constantly being asked and answered and course corrections are being made.

In life, if we make course corrections all along the way they are so minor nobody notices.  However, if we are just about to our destination before we discover we are 1,644 miles off course, then the corrections may not be possible and if they are, they may prove to be very time consuming and costly.

Before any course correction can be made we must first know where we are. Not only do navigators realize this – shopping mall designers do too. That’s why in large malls you find directories with big arrows that say, “You are HERE!”

If you don’t know where you are – you cannot figure out how to get where you are going!   And the opposite is also true.

In one of the scenes from Alice in Wonderland she encounters a Cheshire cat.  She asks the cat which way she should go from where she was.  The cat asks where she wants to go.  She replies that it doesn’t matter much.   The cat then replies: THEN IT DOESN’T MATTER MUCH WHICH WAY YOU GO!”

Remember, “Everybody will wind up somewhere – a few people will wind-up somewhere on purpose!” My encouragement to you is to have great intentions, lofty goals, and great plans. Implement them! And real often – ask the all-important question as to where you are, make the necessary course corrections, stop drifting, and end up “on purpose” where you intended.

Brother Aaron

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