Perhaps you have been in this situation, if not, use your imagination and follow along, I promise to get you back safe and sound. You are in the woods. Maybe you’re camping, maybe a family picnic, or a hiking trip. You decide to follow a well marked trail, but somewhere along the way, something interesting catches your eye and you step off the path and wander into the wood – just a little ways, just to get a look.
You pursue the interesting thing a little farther, then a little more. Suddenly you realize that you’ve wandered too far and turn around to find your way back to the hiking trail. But as you walk, nothing looks familiar and you’re not finding signs of your previous passage. You are completely turned around and have no idea which way to go.
At times like this people often say, “I sure wish I had a compass.” Many times people do have a compass, but they left it at home, thinking they would not need it. Maybe they don’t even know where it is, they just know they have one. Who needs it; I have a GPS.
Of course having a compass does you no good if you don’t know how to work the thing. Oh, the basic premise is simple enough; the needle points north – but is the north-pointing part the red end or the white end? And how does that help you if you have no idea in which direction your camp lies?
At this point, you may be wishing you’d paid closer attention as a kid when the Scoutmaster went over all this stuff.
The Bible is very much like a compass. It can be an invaluable tool for finding one’s way. Many people own one, but have no idea how to use it… or where it is at the moment. Some people dismiss it as unnecessary; they can find their own way through the woods. Some scoff at it; just a clever bit of folklore, completely outdated in this age of modern technology and “enlightened” society.
It’s strange how these attitudes fit until real trouble comes; until they find themselves lost in the woods of life. At this point, many will find themselves wishing they knew more about this piece of survival equipment… or at least where they put it.
Don’t wait until you’re lost in a deep, dark woods wondering how God works; pull out your copy of His instruction book, blow off the dust and open your mind and heart to the words. Start in Matthew, first book in the New Testament. Let the Ultimate Scoutmaster speak to you and teach you to use this survival tool.