I have had the wonderful opportunity to spend the last few days in the San Diego area with my wife and four children. We have spent a lot of time on the beach. My two oldest sons love to boogie board. An interesting phenomenon occurs as the boys ride their boards in and then paddle them back out to catch yet another wave - they drift. In fact, due to the currents and maybe even the tides, they can quickly end up 100 yards down the beach from where they started. This can often take them into the “surfers only” area and out-of-site of mom and dad. In order to prevent this drift from happening, they need to (1) know that drift happens, (2) frequently look up in order to maintain their bearings, and (3) make the necessary adjustments. The best way to keep your bearings is by first identifying a stationary object that won’t move or suddenly disappear. I suggest a rock or a lamp post. Now you must frequently look for that stationary object so that you can determine if you have experienced drift and have moved away from your designated place. If you notice that you are a little off, immediately make the corrections.
This experience and the principles wrapped up in it can be applied to our lives in a much greater manner than simply not drifting down the beach while boogie boarding. Let me take a stab at it. The natural currents of this world are always at work and can cause us to drift, thus pulling us into dangerous territory – into sin, out of God’s will, and away from His purposes. We can prevent this kind of “life drift” in much of the same way we would “boogie board drift.” We must (1) know that drift happens, (2) frequently look up in order to maintain our bearings, and (3) make the necessary adjustments. Remember that the best way to keep our bearings is to keep our eyes fixed on a stationary object that will not move like the tides of this world move. That object that never changes is the truth of God’s Word – the Bible. Frequently looking to God’s Word will help us keep our bearings and let us know when correction is in order. Obedience to His Word is the act of making the adjustments required to stay in His will.
The writer of Psalm 119 calls God’s Word “a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” The Bible really will keep us from drifting. It will keep us on the straight and narrow path. It will keep us out of dangerous waters. That is why we must read it, know it, love it, and obey it.