Several years ago I was leading a trip for college students in Yellowstone National Park. It’s almost impossible to be in such a beautiful setting and not be inspired toward adventure. In that spirit I and a couple of other leaders coordinated an epic hike for the guys on the trip. We gave them large backpacks filled with supplies, a map, and a compass. We pointed out a small lake on the map and told them to meet us there. Meanwhile, we took another route to the lake and waited for the guys to arrive.
The time we expected them to show up came and went — then another hour, followed by another hour. Soon panic began to ensue. What happened? Were they in trouble? There was no cell phone reception and there was no response on our walkie talkies. Eventually we realized that we were going to have to leave the lake to make it back to the road by dark. We hurried back to our car as fast as we could while formulating plans to contact park rangers for a possible search and rescue.
Finally we made it back to our vehicle and drove anxiously up the road. About two miles into our drive, we looked to the side. To our surprise the group of guys was standing there! It remains one of the biggest moments of relief in my life.
After we stopped rejoicing, we asked the guys what happened. It turned out they misread the compass by a few degrees. Instead of arriving at the lake, they wandered by it. They hiked a big 25-mile loop until they eventually found their way back to the road.
What can we learn from a bunch of college guys lost in a national park? One of the main lessons is that how you start matters. Missing the path doesn’t only happen when you walk in a totally opposite direction. Sometimes being off by only a few degrees means you won’t end up where you are intending to go.
That is the reason we are starting our new program year off with a prayer night on Sunday, September 10. As a church we want to make sure that we are fully aligned to what God has for us in this coming year. We want to celebrate communion together and dedicate our ministries, programs, and people to Him.
I can’t think of a better way to start a new year in the life of our church. I invite you to join us! Please let us know you’re coming by using the button below.
Now, as we have thought and prayed about the year ahead, one word continues to surface as the “true north” on our compass. That word is renewal. More than anything else, we want to see our church experience the deep life-change that Jesus brings. And because we naturally talk about what is capturing our hearts, our hope is that we will then be moved to engage others around us in spiritual conversations.
Will you join us in asking the Lord for wisdom and direction as we begin the journey through another year together? We want our steps to be aligned with His.
I can’t wait to see what the Lord does as we follow the path He has for us!
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.Proverbs 19:21