A compass that is not properly calibrated, or a map that is not properly oriented can have disastrous repercussions. Hampton Sides, in his book “In the Kingdom of Ice,” tells the story of the failed 19th century polar expedition of the USS Jeanette, which was headed up by Captain George De Long. On July 8, 1879, Captain De Long and a team of 32 men sailed from San Francisco on the Jeanette with the goal that the United States would be the first nation to reach the North Pole. The whole expedition rested on a theory of the North Pole that had been laid out in the maps of Dr. Heinrich Petermann. His maps suggested that there was a warm water ‘gateway’ through the arctic, essentially a fair-weather passage beyond all the ice. De Long’s entire expedition was staked on these maps. But it turned out he was heading into a world that didn’t exist. The maps were not accurate. As perilous ice quickly surrounded the ship, the team had to shed all of their previously held ideas and replace them with a reckoning of the way the Arctic truly is.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. We’re told to ‘follow our heart,’ or to ‘go with our gut.’ The world around us constantly sells us faulty maps of the good life. And all too often, we stake the expedition of our lives upon these faulty maps. Tragically, it is not until we’re shipwrecked that we realize we trusted in the wrong map.
That is why it is so important that our lives be built upon the objective truth of God’s Word. Only the gospel ‘map’ leads me to life in Jesus Christ. Don’t follow the wrong map. Stake your life and your confidence upon the only one that leads to life.
For more, read John 14:1-7