I was around 17 meters under water, and visibility was poor. At best we could see only 3 to 4 meters ahead when our Scuba instructor gave me the signal to say that he didn’t know where we were and that I needed to find our way back to shore.
I knew this was coming. We were on a navigation dive. This knowledge changed the way I approached the dive. No longer could my full attention be simply given to the coral, fish and array of sea life. I had kept an eye on my compass, knowing that we had been swimming in a south westerly direction. At 5.6 meters in depth I had noticed a distinctive boulder coral, there was a sunken boat at around 7 meters, and various other landmarks at different depths. There was also an awareness that there was only one way back to shore, a sandy channel which ran through the coral reef.
If I had not been aware that my instructor was going to get me lost, and had I not taken responsibility for my own journey that day, I would have failed in my task and not been able to find my way safely home.
It’s easy to treat life like a recreational dive rather than a navigation dive. It is easy to get swept along and be tantalised by that which is bright and beautiful, unique and new, whilst failing to be aware of where I am being lead. We can easily get lost because we simply did not question where we were being lead or we failed to take responsibility for the path we were travelling.
When I found myself feeling a little lost that day, I simply looked to my compass and swam in the direction toward home, all the time looking for familiar landmarks. The swim was not without some anxiety and there were moments of uncertainly, but when I could only see a few meters ahead I needed to trust what I know about the way home.
There is so much to savour and enjoy in life, but like my dive, there can be danger in just enjoying what catches our attention if we are not aware of where we are and where we want to finish. Our compass is Christ.
If you find yourself a little lost, confused, and you know you want to find your way back home, then set your course to Him. His ways. His teaching. Let Him guide you home. Perhaps on your next adventure, slow down a little as well, look at the terrain, be aware of the path you are on, and if you find yourself moving down a path you do not want to travel, turn around and make your way back home.