My stepdad was a big game guide and bear expert in Alaska for the greater part of his adult life. Being a guide is a fascinating life. It has many rewards but requires a great deal of responsibility and preparation. It’s not as simple as having the ability to work a compass and read a map although that in itself is pretty cool. You have to know the geography of course, but also the seasons, the animals, both predators and other wildlife. You have to understand your limitations and the limitations of those who you are leading. You have to have the right equipment and tools. You must be aware and cautious of possible weather changes. Finally, you need to not only have the route into the wilderness but always aware of the way back out.
This may be obvious, but if any of these responsibilities are compromised, the entire trip is endangered. For example, if the compass doesn’t work, if the map is lost, if snow shows up unexpectedly, you’ve got trouble with a capital T. You are literally putting your life in the hands of an experienced guide, hoping that he is able to safely navigate you through the wilderness.
As leader direction is what you bring to the table at every meeting you lead. Maybe we need to be reminded that God is our ultimate guide. His word is the map. His map is true and is able to safely lead us through the wilderness of our life. OK, that was a little bit cliché, but you get the idea. Psalm 25:5Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Blaise Pascal said He that takes truth for his guide may safely trust God’s providence to lead him. God delights in giving us instruction on how to live life.
It’s interesting to me that King David in the Old Testament surrounded himself with wise counselors, but it was always God that gave him direction. He sought the Lord’s counsel time and time again. Perhaps one of the most famous of David’s Psalms is 139. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
David was giving God permission to look deep into his life, search out his hidden fears, and to be the guide that will lead him to life. That can be a scary proposition, but it is one where God’s truth becomes the true guide for life. Do you need to turn in your compass for His?