Last weekend, 4-year-old Titus the Honorable and I went on an adventure. Our journey took us on a four-mile hike/climb through the dark forest; our goal was to find the magic pond.
One of my gifts is to turn the mundane into the exciting. And why not? It doesn’t cost anything. So Turkey Mountain becomes the dark forest. And while we’re at it, why not make the everyday pond magical?
Titus had his little compass, flashlight, snacks and water all ready, and off we went. As we started up the trail, he would stop every so often, look at his compass and then at me. With his most serious face and voice, he would say, “Poppy, we got to go this way.” We would walk swiftly in whichever direction his compass pointed.
This was all quite comical as 1) Titus can’t read; 2) he doesn’t know how to use a compass; and 3) for most of the trip, there was only one trail to choose. When we did come to a fork in the road, I would look over his shoulder and say, “Look, your compass is telling us to go that way.”
Again, he would study that little compass and stare up at me with his serious face. “Poppy, you’re right. It’s pointing for us to go this way.” And off we would go.
About a mile and a half into our hike and climb, we turned a corner, and Titus started yelling, “Poppy, Poppy, look! I see the magic pond.” And there before us lay a small, quiet pond surrounded by trees.
We decided this would make a great place for us to take our first snack break, even though he had found about a dozen others on the way up. As we relaxed at the water’s edge, Titus sat for a few minutes, quietly staring out over the water. He then said in a hushed voice, “Poppy, it’s beautiful.” And it was.
As Titus the Honorable and Cohen the Goodhearted grow older, I am praying they find the true compass that will guide their hearts. Each one of us needs guidance. Our own ambitions and desires often blind us into making bad decisions. Many times, we choose what we want rather than what is right.
I don’t have a compass. Well, let me rephrase that. I do have one, but when it comes to reading it, I am about as skilled as Titus the Honorable. But I have something better than a compass; I have the Word of God. It was Jesus who said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31b-32, ESV).
Titus, my hiking buddy, a compass can help you find things on this earth, but the Word of God will help you find the right way to live. Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way. One will bring you peace; the other will bring hurt and pain, and it will take years for that hurt to heal.
When you and I were searching for the magic pond, most of the trails were wide and marked. But in life, these paths don’t come with markers, and they are often confusing. That is why you need God’s Word. It will look over your shoulder and whisper, “Go this way.”
When you do take the wrong path, as we all have, all you need to do is seek God’s Word. It will always take you back to the good and right way.
I was at a meeting once with a handful of business owners. One of the owners had just gotten out of prison for embezzling millions of dollars from his company. I wanted to ask him one question. I asked, “Where was your moral compass when the temptation came to steal your employer’s money?”
He looked at me and said, “I didn’t have one.”
I followed up with another question. “Do you have one now?”
“It’s a little better,” he replied.
Titus, I was sorry to hear that because he didn’t have God or God’s Word in his life to give him direction or purpose. On our hike, you and I had a purpose, and that was to find the magic pond. Your compass (with a little help from Poppy) pointed out the direction. And God’s Word gives us both. I pray that you and your brother will trust God’s Word to be your compass.
One of these days, you will sit down and look back over your life of following His Word. And I already know what you will say: “Poppy, it’s beautiful.”