How did we get here? This is a question that I have asked individually, in the context of my family, and in reference to the organizations that I have been involved with. There are times when we want to know how we arrived at a destination in order to reverse engineer and replicate the process. Other times we desire the information for the purpose of discovering where we went wrong, never wanting to repeat the journey again.
Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy (2016) use “the drift” as a metaphor for understanding how individuals arrive at destinations that they did not consciously choose. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.”
God has not called the Church to drift, rather he has called the church to be an intentional organism that fulfills its divine purpose of making disciples (Matt. 28:19-20; Eph. 4:11-16). Hyatt and Harkavy use the metaphor of a Global Positioning System (GPS) to explain how an individual can get from where they are, to where they want to be. A few of their points are:
A GPS requires you to input your destination.
A GPS gets you to your destination faster with less hassle.
A GPS gives you constant feedback on your progress.
A GPS helps you get back on track when you lose your way.
A GPS reroutes you around roadblocks.
A GPS requires an investment.
While reading their interesting work regarding life planning, I began to consider how much attention we give to GPS devices on earth, whether it is a GPS enabled phone, or a designated device in an automobile. Yet, all of the devices that we see and touch are receivers that are dependent upon the unseen, space-based navigation system that provides location, conditions, and direction, anywhere on Earth.
The body of Christ must recognize that we are not called to determine our destination, rather we are called to the will of God (Rom. 12:2; Col. 4: 12). It is the Word of God and the Holy Spirit that provide our destination, giving us constant feedback on our progress, getting us back on track when we lose our way, and helps us navigate unforeseen roadblocks and the crises of life.
Similar to the GPS system referred to by Hyatt and Harkavy, God’s Positioning System also requires an investment. GPS units must be purchased, maintained, updated, and turned on if they are going to be effective in providing information, location, and direction. Disciples must invest in prayer, the Word of God, remaining “on” and open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and to spiritual authority in order to arrive at the predetermined destination. What a travesty it would be for an individual to have everything necessary to be directed from above, and yet still be lost. Let’s allow God and his Word to order our steps and direct our path, transforming us into his image and likeness (Ps. 119:133; Provo 3:6). Hyatt, M. S., & Harkavy, D. (2016). Living forward: a proven plan to stop drifting and get the life you want. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, a division of baker publishing group.
Rev. Brent Coltharp, Illinois District Superintendent