We’re all flat-landers stuck in two dimensions. Doesn’t matter if we live in the mountains. We’re glued to Earth’s undulating surface, meticulously following its ups and downs. That restraint does grant security. We need concern ourselves only with the challenges of moving left or right, forward or back. Vertical decisions fade to choosing stairs or elevator.
But a few years ago I recall thinking: Here I am, the pilot, an intruder in three-dimensional space. Suddenly up and down greatly complicates my work. The sky looks free, clear air for thousands of miles, only birds and clouds for companions. But, in fact, it demands answers to scores of questions.
How do I find my destination? No signs point the way, no roads lead anywhere. In fact, how do I know where I am now? No monument marks my spot. Chosen goals remain unreachable if I don’t know my starting point.
What about boundaries? How do I stay away from where I’m unwanted? Major air terminals distain the uninvited. Military Operation Areas, where warriors practice their sharp art, detest intruders. Like busy freeways, both peril the unwary trespasser.
And when cloud fills or night hides the vast expanse, how do I know what I fly over? Mountains? Desert? Ocean? Swamp? What if I unexpectedly return to flat-land? How will I know what awaits me?
Fortunately, technology provides answers. For example, my control panel sports a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver. This magic box catches invisible radio waves and displays my position within plus-or-minus 30 feet anywhere on the planet—dark, light, cloudy, or clear. Doesn’t matter. With that and a map I fly confidently, stay out of danger zones, and reach my destination.
Then recently I realized it’s a lot like following Jesus. God gave me his Spirit so I could receive his invisible direction. Without it, I float in emptiness. With it, I navigate confidently through life in a chaotic world. Without it, I’m lost. With it, I know my position in creation exactly. (1 Cor 2:12)
What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.” — 1 Corinthians 2:12 (NIV)
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