You’re drifting in the middle of the ocean without a compass (or GPS) or any land in sight. What is the fastest way to find land? If you were a Viking, the answer might be found in getting a bird’s-eye view (and I’m not talking about the view from the crow’s nest near the top of the ship’s mast). The clever Vikings were known to release a raven from their boat and follow it to land. Like Noah after the Flood, they knew that the raven would instinctively keep flying until it found somewhere to land. By experience, the Vikings found the raven to be a reliable source of direction.

If we want to find direction in life, then like the Vikings, it helps to know what we’re looking for first. This could be a career path, a marriage partner, a place to live, or a spiritual goal. (Our primary goals should be spiritual in nature.)

It’s also important to have someone reliable who can help us find what we are looking for in life. Parents, teachers, godly friends, and pastors are some of the best qualified people to help point us in the right direction. (They will also tell us when we are drifting off course.)

Finally, we have to follow the people who want to help us. The choice to follow is completely up to us. It sometimes means laying aside our preconceived notions about the course we are taking and going in a different direction. Sometimes it means staying the course and waiting a little bit longer because there is land ahead. (This decision is best made with prayer.)

What is your compass? Make up in your mind what you are looking for, and then find someone who can help you get there. Finally, be open-minded enough to listen to your guide, thoughtful enough to think through their advice, and willing enough to change your course if necessary. There is land ahead. God wants you to find it.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder