Walking with God Is Like Navigation

Eric Foy

I like to borrow a term from the field of navigation to describe walking with God. In navigation, it's all about taking readings from known landmarks or celestial bodies, compass readings, your past progress, and elapsed time, and from these data, calculating your current position.

Sometimes, when you want to know where you are, you have no fixes on any known positions, so you employ a technique called "dead reckoning." You determine your best estimate of current position based on your last known position, combined with your history of heading and velocity since that point. This is dead reckoning.

I like this because it reminds me that when I look for God where I expect to find Him and He's not there, or I just can't see Him, one thing I need to do is to "reckon myself dead" (but alive in Christ, of course). This then leads me to recount the places God has taken me in the past; the places where God really met me and met my need; the places I have been where God was there, too. Then I can look clearly at which way I have been heading since the last time I saw Him - my last navigational fix, if you will. And before I know it - there He is!

More than just an allegory, this process is a very objective analysis that helps me to cut through all of the emotional aspects of how I might feel about my current circumstance. I can perform this analysis whether I'm "stoked in the Lord," crying out in anguish, or just feeling kind of generally bummed. Dead reckoning is, for me, an absolutely essential part of walking with God.

Please note that what I'm talking about is not the same thing as "getting Self outta there and moving Christ to the center," if you know what I mean - and I think you do. I'm not talking about extinguishing my Self, or putting Self down, or suppressing Self. This was a bunch of stuff that was taught to us in the Assembly with an improper emphasis on things like conformity to someone else's preconceived idea of godliness, among other wrong ideas.

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